Former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp has heaped praise on Henrikh Mkhitaryan following his performance during Manchester United’s 3-0 win over Sunderland on Sunday afternoon.
The Armenian, despite a rusty start, produced a mesmerising display on the ball at the Stadium of Light, pinning the home side back all afternoon.
He put the result beyond doubt just moments after half time with a crisp strike into the far bottom corner that doubled Man United’s lead.
And Redknapp, speaking on Sky Sports, noted that Mkhitaryan’s presence gives Jose Mourinho something different going forward.
“I do believe that when he gets on the ball he gives Man Utd that little bit of stardust,” he said.
It is no coincidence that the more Mkhitaryan grew into the game, the more Sunderland fell away into oblivion. The first 20 minutes saw the 28-year-old, alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Jesse Lingard, struggle for momentum, but as soon as the diminutive magician started to find his range and accuracy the whole contest became something of a formality.
This is, after all, exactly what Mkhitaryan does: he moves the ball all across the pitch, growing in potency as the minutes go by, until the opposition can no longer cope. The last 20 minutes against Sunderland had the semblance of training exercise, with the Armenian happily thriving at its core.