Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been credited as the key player in Manchester United’s upturn in fortunes.
MANCHESTER, United Kingdom (Metro)—The Armenian was initially frozen out by Jose Mourinho but since being brought into the fray has excelled. It’s coincided with a run of results that sees Manchester United unbeaten in 11 Premier League games and on a nine-game winning run in all competitions.
Liverpool legend Didi Hamann believes Mkhitaryan deserves much credit.
‘Mkhitaryan has been a key man in United’s changing fortunes,’ said the German. ‘He’s played a far greater role in the league since the end of November, scoring against Sunderland and bagging the winner at home to Tottenham, and in that time United have won six and drawn two in the league. He’s been excellent playing just off Ibrahimovic and has helped shape United’s style of football.’
Jose Mourinho moved a step closer to a major trophy in his first season as Manchester United manager as goals from Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini secured a first-leg victory over Hull City in the semi-final of the EFL Cup, the BBC reports.
A near full-strength United struggled to break down resilient Hull in a first half in which the hosts had just two shots on target – Mata forcing a good save out of goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic, who also tipped over Paul Pogba’s long-range effort.
The visitors had chances of their own against a side who had won their eight previous games in all competitions, Robert Snodgrass causing problems from set-pieces.
However, Mata got the breakthrough just before the hour mark when he tapped in from Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s knockdown.
Substitute Fellaini scored a second late on, heading in from Matteo Darmian’s cross to put United in command heading into the second leg on January 26.