Jose off the mark
New signings Mkhitaryan, Bailly and fit-again Shaw shine in United boss' first game
MAN UNITED 2
(Will Keane 49, Andreas Pereira 58)
The Jose Mourinho era at Manchester United began with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Wigan yesterday, with goals from Will Keane and Andreas Pereira settling a low-key pre-season friendly.
Missing his Euro 2016 contingent, Mourinho still used 22 players on his touchline debut with the Red Devils and will be content with what, in truth, was little more than a glorified training exercise.
United controlled a goalless first half before Wigan goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen saw his kick charged down by Juan Mata in the 48th minute and Keane nabbed the first goal of Mourinho's reign.
Pereira found the top corner nine minutes later to secure the result, though Mourinho will surely have been more interested in bright showings from new arrivals Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Eric Bailly and England left back Luke Shaw's first appearance in 10 months following a double leg fracture.
The DW Stadium was far from full for the Special One's bow, but a sizeable contingent of United fans had made the short journey, joined by the club's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.
Having had disappointing experiences with David Moyes and Louis van Gaal, Woodward was present for what he hopes is the beginning of a bright new chapter.
Kick-off had to wait for the mandatory airing of "Will Grigg's on Fire" in honour of the Latics' Northern Ireland striker but, once the whistle blew, it was only a matter of seconds before Mourinho's name was bellowed from the away end.
United lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Mkhitaryan given licence to roam behind the striker.
He was quick to impress with some neat touches around the box, but Stephen Warnock went in hard and fair on Memphis Depay and Jesse Lingard to set out Wigan's stall.
United dominated a goalless 45 minutes but created just two clear chances, Mkhitaryan teeing up Depay to poke wide before hooking over himself from 10 metres following Lingard's cross.
Wigan's best response saw Grigg lay off for Emyr Huws, whose shot was bravely blocked by Bailly.
United made seven changes at the break and two substitutes combined for the opener - Mata charging down Jaaskelainen's kick and squaring for former Wigan loanee Keane to roll into an open net.
Nine minutes later, Ashley Young's free-kick was mis-hit by Ander Herrera and fell for Pereira, who buried his shot into the top corner from 12 metres. - PA Sport.
"After 10 training sessions, I can say, ‘I love to work with these guys’."
- Man United manager Jose Mourinho expressing on Instagram his delight with his first week of training
"It’s been very good. We came in last Wednesday and have done over a week with him now and it’s been enjoyable. The sessions are very good, it hasn’t broken us yet and hasn’t been as hard as you might think!"
- Man United’s Michael Carrick