Zlatan Ibrahimovic opened the scoring after five minutes as Manchester United won 2-0 at West Brom but Wayne Rooneys wait to equal Sir Bobby Charltons scoring record continues
As Wayne Rooneys wait for the goal that will equal Sir Bobby Charltons record goes on, Zlatan Ibrahimovic continues to carry the torch for a Manchester United side who are running into form at just the right time. With another two goals, the Swede took his tally for the season to 16 and 10 in his last nine games to complete a highly satisfactory week for Jos Mourinho and his players.
United have won three times in the space of seven days their first such run in the Premier League since August and there are clear signs that the juggernaut is starting to pick up a little speed. Ibrahimovic is certainly in the groove, playing like a man at the peak of his powers rather than a 35-year-old in the twilight of his career.
His early header set United on their way before anyone had a chance to break sweat and the match was in effect over as a contest when Ibrahimovic added a second early in the second half. West Bromwich Albions self-belief was broken and United were able to cruise towards a routine victory that lifts them to within three points of fourth-placed Manchester City, albeit having played a game more.
With home fixtures to come against Sunderland and Middlesbrough, the league table could make for even better reading for United by the time the year comes to a close. They are not playing vintage attacking football by any stretch, yet United are finding a way to win matches and producing flashes of brilliance, with the lovely opening goal against Albion a case in point.
By the end it felt like Christmas had come early for the travelling supporters as Rooney, Paul Pogba and Ander Herrera led a group of United players over towards them to throw their shirts into the crowd. I told them to do that, Mourinho said. Its Christmas time. A shirt for a fan, coming direct from the game with sweat, means a lot. For the players, its just one more shirt. But I think for the fans it means a lot.
With Albion flying high in seventh place and awkward opponents for any team on paper, Mourinho was entitled to be delighted with the outcome and the Portuguese quickly made it clear that he had no intention of overshadowing the result by saying anything controversial in relation to either of the two majorflashpoints.