Zlatan Ibrahimovic netted two milestone goals as Manchester United ended their four-match winless run in the Premier League with a comfortable 3-1 victory at Swansea City.
After Paul Pogba had opened the scoring with a sweetly struck half-volley, Ibrahimovic scored the Premier League’s 25,000th goal before making it 3-0 with the 400th of his club career.
The nature of the victory will have pleased manager Jose Mourinho, who watched from the stands as he served a one-match touchline ban, although Mike van der Hoorn’s late consolation robbed David de Gea of a clean sheet.
Swansea boss Bob Bradley, by contrast, remains without a win in charge of the Welsh club, who were poor throughout and scored with their only effort on target.
The result lifts United to sixth, while Van der Hoorn’s header keeps Swansea off the foot of the table on goal difference.
Wayne Rooney was included in a United starting XI that also featured the unfamiliar backline of Matteo Darmian, Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones and Ashley Young, and it was the England captain who had the first sight of goal, curling just wide after beating Angel Rangel on the edge of the box.
Luke Shaw was a late withdrawal and Daley Blind was only fit enough for the bench following Thursday’s Europa League defeat at Fenerbahce, but Pogba’s swift recovery from a knock picked up in Turkey soon paid dividends.
The French midfielder rifled home a wonderful strike from 20 yards out following a chipped Rooney ball back to the edge of the box in the 15th minute.
Bradley’s hunt for a first win as Swansea boss prompted him to switch to a 4-4-2 formation for the visit of United, pairing Borja Baston with Fernando Llorente in attack.
However, the hosts were ineffective and took just six minutes to concede a second.
Rooney played the ball inside to Ibrahimovic, who left Ki Sung-yueng for dead before sending a low drive beyond Lukasz Fabianski.
United were tearing Swansea apart and, as home fans directed chants of ‘We want our club back’ at the directors’ box, Ibrahimovic added the visitors’ third.
Played into the box by Rooney, who became only the third player to assist 100 Premier League goals, the former Paris Saint-Germain forward shrugged off the weak challenge of Rangel to double his personal tally.
Bradley introduced Modou Barrow and Jefferson Montero for the second half as Swansea reverted to a more familiar 4-2-3-1 shape and, while the changes did not make an immediate difference, the home side did pull a goal back in the 69th minute.
De Gea got a hand to De Hoorn’s header from a Gylfi Sigurdsson free-kick, but it was not enough to keep out the Dutchman’s effort.
That, and a tame Barrow effort that looked to be heading for the right-hand upright when it was intercepted by De Gea late on, was the sum of Swansea’s response as United held on for a convincing win, although a late Ibrahimovic booking means he will miss next week’s clash with Arsenal.
Key Opta stats:
– Mourinho’s side earned their first away win in the Premier League since August, ending a run of three games on the road without victory.
– Ibrahimovic’s first goal was his first in 609 minutes of Premier League action.
– Swansea have conceded at least two goals in eight of their last 10 Premier League matches.
– Both teams scored with 100% of their shots on target in this game.
– Bradley is the second Swansea manager to fail to win his opening four Premier League matches after Brendan Rodgers.
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