Manchester United turned in a thoroughly professional performance as they beat West Bromwich Albion 2-0 at The Hawthorns on Saturday. An imperious Zlatan Ibrahimović netted both goals in the victory, allowing United to move provisionally level with fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur.
West Brom saw plenty of the ball in the first few minutes of the match, but it took just five for United to draw first blood. Jesse Lingard went scampering down the right before curling an inch-perfect cross for Zlatan at the far post; the Swede made no mistake, ducking to head beyond Ben Foster for 1-0.
The Baggies continued to control possession, but United once again looked deliciously like a Mourinho team. They sat back but remained a constant counter-attacking threat, and it took the combined efforts of Foster and the crossbar to prevent Wayne Rooney from firing home midway through the opening period.
Not until past the half-hour did West Brom give United a proper scare. It came when winger Matt Phillips wriggled into some space and whipped a delivery onto the head of gangling striker Salomón Rondón, though the on-form Venezuelan glanced the ball wide of David de Gea’s far post.
The last real chance of the opening period was, however, United’s, and the excellent Lingard should’ve put Mourinho’s men two goals to the good. A shanked shot by Matteo Darmian fell kindly for the young winger, though he managed to lash a wild effort high over the crossbar from close range.
United had little problem soaking up everything the Baggies threw their way early in the second half, and added a second before the hour. It was once again Ibrahimović on the scoresheet, dinking the ball past two defenders before driving a deflected shot inside Foster's far post.
That signalled the end of the game as a contest, with United comfortably rebuffing West Brom’s subsequent forays forward. Another win and another good performance: things are looking strangely promising.