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Published: 21:41 | 19/8/16

Ibrahimovic brace downs Saints

A brace from Zlatan Ibrahimovic was enough for Manchester United to see off the challenge of Southampton in their Premier League clash at Old Trafford.

On the night when world record signing Paul Pogba made his second debut for Jose Mourinho's side, it was the summer recruit who didn't cost a penny in transfer fees who ensured the headlines would all be about him.

The Swedish forward gave the hosts the lead on 36 minutes after a tight opening phase to the match which saw the Saints enjoy the majority of possession and create the better of the openings.

Wayne Rooney sent over a sweet cross and Ibrahimovic rose above Jose Fonte to power home an unstoppable header.

Not long after the break Claude Puel thought his side had levelled the game when the impressive Dusan Tadic headed past David de Gea from inside the six yard box but the linesman, correctly, adjudged the Serb to be in an offside position.

On 52 minutes Utd doubled their lead, Jordi Clasie punished for a silly trip on the surging Luke Shaw with the award of a penalty and Ibrahimovic demanded the ball before sweeping home the spot-kick.

For a spell the home side threatened to confirm their superiority on the scoreboard with another goal or two but following a driving run from Pogba, Ibrahimovic played in Anthony Martial but the France international hesitated and the chance was gone.

The run forward from Pogba was one example of what was a very encouraging performance from the midfielder; paired with Marouane Fellaini in the centre of the park and with licence to roam, Pogba, after a slightly nervy start, popped up all over the pitch and had the confidence to try things, with them coming off successfully on most occasions.

Luke Shaw also caught the eye against his former club and with Martial not enjoying his best display, the left back dominated his flank reminding the away support, who singled him out for abuse, what they are missing since he left the south coast.

Southampton should probably have taken the lead when the game was scoreless, Nathan Redmond's cross to Dusan Tadic would have been nodded into an open goal were it not for the former over-hitting it, while Tadic's sharp first-time ball released Long but the Ireland forward's shot was weak and easy for de Gea.

They almost got back into the game in the final quarter hour when Long glanced a header just wide before Tadic blazed wide late on.

Henrik Mhikityrayn came on for Juan Mata to be the fourth player to make his competitive home debut for Utd and showed a few nice touches to add another plus for Mourinho.

Pogba had an opportunity to mark his first game for Utd in four years with a goal but his shot from distance was unconvincing but he, and the vast majority of the Old Trafford crowd, wouldn't have cared as they made it two wins from two under the new regime.

Source ISNTV

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