Manchester United tore apart Swansea City 4-0 in the early kick-off on Saturday, adding to their 4-0 victory on the opening weekend against West Ham.
The game was very much an exhibition of United’s attacking and defensive abilities, though in wider terms the game stood out as a statement to the rest of the Premier League: Manchester United under Jose Mourinho are back, and they mean business.
Mourinho was all too aware that rebuilding Manchester United to a standard of the Sir Alex Ferguson regime was a tough ask, though to do so, they had to spend.
The acquisitions of Paul Pogba (£89m), Romelu Lukaku (£75m) and Nemanja Matic (£40m) over the last two seasons have proven pivotal for Mourinho, and today against Swansea these three players well and truly stood out from the pack, as did the performance of Henrik Mkhitaryan – four assists in his first two PL games of this season.
Matic amassed 105 touches today, Pogba 97 – United were passing the ball around the Liberty at ease, and after a season of bedding in last year for Jose, now is their time. He has built a squad containing both quality and depth; Mourinho’s ability to bring Anthony Martial off the bench, and for Martial to score again, standing out as a reminder of this depth.
There are competitors of the highest quality in this seasons Premier League, though the swagger, arrogance and attitude of Manchester United stands out as perhaps going one further than the likes of Chelsea, Tottenham or Manchester City.
An abundance of quality, a manager with a proven winning record and as Paul Pogba described in his post match interview “true team spirit” is certainly evident in the Manchester United ranks at present. There is a long way to go for Mourinho and this immensely talented squad – though one certainty remains.
Manchester United are coming for the title – Guardiola, Conte, Pochettino – your move.
Written by Tom Newman.