Manchester United made it two wins from two Premier League matches as Jose Mourinho recorded his first league win at Old Trafford as the United manager.

There was a lot of anticipation as Paul Pogba was named in the starting lineup by Jose Mourinho but United got off to a shaky start with Southampton dominating the proceedings and possession for the first 20 minutes. The Red Devils slowly grew into the game and after the half-hour mark Wayne Rooney got clear near the corner flag providing a perfectly weighted cross for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who obliged with a thumping header into the net. The home team then got another goal as Luke Shaw was tripped inside the box by Jordy Clasie with Zlatan converting the penalty with ease. Southampton had many chances but failed to trouble David De Gea.

We take a look at some talking points as United eased to a 2-0 home win on Paul Pogba’s “second debut” at the club.

1. Zlatan’s form might be an ominous sign for United’s adversaries

A 34-year old leading the lines at big club like Manchester United is something almost unheard of in the Premier League era. Fans and pundits are quick to question the credentials of the player to lead the attack while also raising doubts on the club’s title chances. But, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is perhaps the only player who could pull off something as rare as this.

The Swede had two goals from his first two competitive matches as a United player and on Friday, Zlatan doubled his tally against Southampton. While the second goal was down to the hard-work put in by Luke Shaw and other wide men in earning the penalty, the first goal was testament to the striker’s determination and character. Jose Fonte is probably one of the finest headers of the ball in the Premier League but Zlatan made a mockery of his abilites as he towered above the Portuguese to connect his head on Rooney’s cross to give United a somewhat undeserving lead.

But this is exactly what Zlatan is all about and that goal embodies what Zlatan brings to the table for United. Friday’s match showed that the club, through its new signings, have become capable of scoring at any given time, even against the run of play, which would be ominous sings for the other clubs vying for the Premier League this season. At 34, Zlatan has announced himself at Old Trafford and he is just getting started.

2. Paul Pogba sizzles in his second Manchester United debut 

Fans were in anticipation to see their world-record signing play and Paul Pogba did not disappoint the home crowd.  The player was at his usual best despite starting training only last week and covered the entire length of the pitch in his 90 minutes. The player showed intent in going forward as he completed more take-ons than the entire Southampton team and added the drive that was missing from the Manchester United midfield.

Pogba had a few chances to mark his debut with a goal but irrespective of scoring, the former Juventus superstar showed why he was so desperately wanted by Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United. If the French international is this good when not fully fit, there is reason to fear for United’s opponents as one can only imagine how good Pogba will be when he finds his stride at United.

3. Bailly and Shaw shine in defence to guarantee clean sheet for United

Luke Shaw was the main architect for United’s second goal to bring them to a safe position in the match as he was tripped inside the box and was a constant threat while going forward along with being solid at the back. Eric Bailly, genuinely, had one lapse of concentration but he recovered well to refute Southampton’s chances of scoring.

While Luke Shaw’s return to first-team football has been encouraging after suffering a horror injury last September at PSV, Eric Bailly has run the show as far as the defensive aspect is concerned. The Ivory Coast international has bossed the defence and is already starting to justify his price tag as the duo of Luke Shaw and Eric Bailly look set for a long career at Manchester United.

4. Toothless Southampton need a better end product for their brilliant build-up plays

Even though the match ended being a safe 2-0 win in favour of Manchester United, there were times when Southampton dominated the proceedings for a long period and carved open opportunities for themselves with their brilliant and patient build-up play only to see the chance being wasted. Claude Puel will surely realise the need for better finishing to complement their build-up play and the Southampton boss would know that the match may have had a different outcome if his squad would’ve been able to provide the final ball or apply the finishing touch.

There were times when, after a brilliantly carved opening, the players just did not look up to find a better option as it was precision that was found wanting in the team’s playing style and Claude Puel knows very well that his squad must improve fast if they are to compete for a European place this season.

5. Still no sign of youth involvement at United under Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho rubbished the possibility of the youth’s chances being toned down under the Portuguese at Manchester United but two league games into Mourinho’s reign and the fears of United fans are slowly coming to the fore. It is still early times at United but the Portuguese’s choice to give game time to Memphis Depay instead of Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard are still early warning signs for the United faithfuls.

Rashford and Lingard are yet to feature for Manchester United in the Premier League this season. (Picture Courtesy - AFP/Getty Images)
Rashford and Lingard are yet to feature for Manchester United in the Premier League this season. (Picture Courtesy – AFP/Getty Images)

Even though the club has managed to start their campaign with two wins out of two, United faithfuls would look to the Portuguese in hope as they are excited by the prospects of Jesse Lingard, teen sensation Marcus Rashford and defender Timothy Fosu-Mensah. Mourinho must realise that it won’t take the United supporters too long to start voicing their concerns about the involvement of youth in the first-team setup at Old Trafford, if this continues for a longer amount of time.

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