Jose Mourinho has heaped praise on his players for what was a “professional performance” as Manchester United cruised to a 4-1 win over Burton Albion.
Any possibility of an upset from the Championship side was ripped to shreds by a superb brace from Marcus Rashford in just 17 minutes before Jesse Lingard crowned some scintillating play from Anthony Martial – the best player on the pitch by far – with his first goal of the season.
Martial claimed a deserved goal on the hour mark, taking his tally to four goals for this season, but Man United couldn’t register another clean sheet after substitute keeper Joel Pereira‘s fumble allowed Lloyd Dyer to net a late consolation goal.
But Mourinho was nevertheless proud of the way his side militantly killed off the game in the first half.
“Professional performance, we played seriously, we gave them no chance,” he said. “Everybody is happy, no injuries and no cards. They lost with dignity and we won, which was our objective.”
“Everyone is ready to play and wants to use the minutes on the pitch to improve. The team collectively enjoyed the game. Martial was good, Mata was good, Lingard was good.
“We look happy playing football at this moment, that’s what I like.”
This was never going to be a test for United. Burton put on a spirited display for their travelling fans but lacked the bite and urgency to ever trouble Mourinho’s men.
But that doesn’t make games like these pointless.
In fact, this was a wonderful exhibition of what United – a second string United – as an attacking unit can do when given the space and time to express themselves. And it was breathtaking. Time and time again they poured forward, exposing gaps in Burton’s defence with ease: Martial, Rashford, Juan Mata and Lingard had a field day.
We can not make any extrapolations over United’s silverware credentials from this performance, but one thing is certain: Mourinho has brought the attacking mojo back to this side.