Henrikh Mkhitaryan has noted that he feels free at Manchester United under Jose Mourinho following his side’s 3-0 win over Leicester City in the Premier League.
The Armenian endured an almost three-month absence from the starting XI following his first start on September 10 but instantly dazzled the watching world upon his return.
And his most recent outing, against Leicester City, was a spectacle of complete domination, replete with a constant stream of sensational passes and turns and capped off by a mesmerising solo-effort in the 42nd minute.
Mkhitaryan, speaking after the game, was quick to point out how Mourinho’s current system allows him to express himself on the pitch.
“I felt free,” he said. “I had help from everywhere — from the flanks, from behind, from up front with Ibra.
“I felt good. I can say that we played well. We tried to do everything the coach asked of us, and I think we managed to do that.”
You will need to watch Sunday’s win over Leicester again to truly capture the extent of Mkhitaryan’s storming influence against Claudio Ranieri’s side. He was simply everywhere, always finding space and surging forward in that mazy, intractable way.
A perfect example would be the chance Marcus Rashford sent over the bar in the first half: the move starts with Mkhitaryan nutmegging Danny Drinkwater, moving the ball sideways, finding space, receiving the ball again, moving forward again, chipping the ball out wide, making a clever run in behind down the right hand side and sending an inch-perfect pass across to the 19-year-old, who really should have scored.
It was, in many ways, a microcosm of what the 28-year-old brought to the party against Leicester: a constant, relentlessly ruthless influence surging forward, refusing to hand the home side a moment’s peace.