Manchester United 2-0 Southampton: Zlatan steals the show with brace

3The Swedish striker scored a superb header and also converted from the penalty spot, as the Red Devils eased to a comfortable victory over the Saints at Old Trafford

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice as Manchester United defeated Southampton 2-0 at Old Trafford on Friday.

Paul Pogba – who played the full 90 minutes – also impressed on his second debut for the club after completing his world record transfer move from Juventus and missing Sunday’s 3-1 win at Bournemouth through suspension.

Ibrahimovic put United into the lead after 36 minutes, the striker rising highest in the penalty area to thump in a header from Wayne Rooney’s precise right wing cross.

After Dusan Tadic had a goal ruled out shortly after half-time, Ibrahimovic sealed the points from the penalty spot when Jordy Clasie brought down Luke Shaw in the box.

Anthony Martial missed a chance to pick out Ibrahimovic for his hat-trick, but Jose Mourinho’s men closed out the match with ease in his first league home game.4

Southampton had won 1-0 on their two previous visits to Old Trafford but they rarely threatened the United goal and their seven-match Premier League unbeaten run came to an end as Claude Puel continues to await his first win.

It was Pogba who had the first sight of goal after 12 minutes, but his shot from the edge of the penalty area lacked power and was comfortably saved by Fraser Forster.

Southampton were looking threatening on the break and Nathan Redmond ran clear of Eric Bailly only to hit his cross over the unmarked Dusan Tadic at the back post.

Shane Long flashed a shot into the side netting after 25 minutes, then Ibrahimovic hooked a bicycle kick just wide of the far post after superb play by Pogba and Juan Mata.

Tadic seized on a loose United pass to free Long, but the striker snatched at his effort and David de Gea saved easily, before Rooney’s long-range shot was dealt with by Forster.

United made Southampton pay for wasting their chances after 36 minutes, with Ibrahimovic scoring his third goal for United in three games.2

Antonio Valencia slipped in Rooney down the right wing and the United captain’s cross was perfectly placed for Ibrahimovic to climb above Jose Fonte and power in an unstoppable header.

Southampton thought they had equalised shortly after half-time when Tadic flicked home a header, but he was adjudged to have fouled Bailly, and United then doubled their lead.

Clasie tripped Shaw in the box and Ibrahimovic stepped up to sweep the spot-kick home, sending Forster the wrong way.1Ibrahimovic then could have had his hat-trick but Martial failed to pick his fellow attacker out in the box, before the young France international wasted another presentable opening.

Despite failing to take advantage of a string of opportunities to add to the scoreline – including a late Pogba effort – Mourinho’s men closed the match out with ease to extend their 100 per cent record.

Match Stats — Team Stats

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