Manchester United star Henrikh Mkhitaryan deserves free role

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In a largely anodyne first-half, United appeared to be at their most threatening whenever Henrikh Mkhitaryan involved. The Armenian’s intuitive movement flummoxed Everton and his dash through the centre which drew a free-kick highlighted just why he covets the No.10 role over the right flank.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was dropping too deep and in one instance ran into the same zone as Mkhitaryan. He will have to work on that, and it was no coincidence the Swede scored so audaciously from the opposite channel to the one Mkhitaryan in.

United were badly blunted after Mourinho replaced Mkhitaryan for Marouane Fellaini. The £26.3million signing is already performing at a level that suggests he is worthy of a freer role behind Ibrahimovic.

There was concern about United’s substitution strategy before Fellaini trundled on for the classy Mkhitaryan. Anthony Martial, bright on the left flank, had already made way for Marcus Rashford and it was noticeable Jose Mourinho – sat down for the majority of the match – only left his seat in an attempt to shore United up.

Ander Herrera was asked to inform Paul Pogba to play behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic in a blatant attempt to hold on for a 1-0 win against a side whose supporters were so close to mutiny they sarcastically cheered Tom Cleverley’s removal.

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