The visit of Leicester City had the potential to cause Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United even more problems on Saturday, yet the Reds were comfortable winners without captain Wayne Rooney although the coach was quick to emphasise his importance to the team.
Following a run of poor form and increased criticism from supporters, the 30-year-old was left out of the starting line-up which handed Mourinho room to manoeuvre when structuring his attacking quartet.
He was not missed with Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata having a hand in proceedings as the reigning champions were decimated in the first-half.
At the full-time whistle, Mourinho was asked by the media about the saga surrounding his captain but he moved to clarify his position in his press conference.
“He is an important player for me, for Manchester United and for the national team, I have nothing else to say, I trust him completely, he’s my man,” he explained.
Manchester United have failed to start matches strongly this season with many home supporters left stunned by how they blitzed Claudio Ranieri’s side and this wasn’t lost on the Portuguese coach.
“We started well for the first time, normally we have better second-halves, today was about the happiness of the fans, I don’t remember the last time they had such an impressive performance by half-time.”
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has escaped criticism during United’s difficult recent period courtesy of the goals he registered in the early part of the season however the Swedish forward was back to his best on Saturday even if he failed to find the net.
Despite insisting that the team dynamic was the most important thing to make note of after the victory, Mourinho did find time to recognise Ibrahimovic’s performance.
“The team played well, I think Ibrahimovic was fantastic, phenomenal, and he was key in our attacking football, initiating great plays.”
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