Free-scoring United looks team to beat in Premier League

0
70


Free-scoring, tight at the back and confidence oozing through the side, Manchester United might already be the team to beat in the English Premier League.

United hasn't challenged for the title since winning its record-extending 20th championship in 2013, Alex Ferguson's last year in charge, but back-to-back 4-0 wins sent a powerful early-season message to its rivals.

Swansea was on the end of United's power and new-found clinical edge on Saturday, with Eric Bailly scoring in the first half before Romelu Lukaku, Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial all netted in a devastating four-minute passage from the 80th.

"There was happiness in our play," United manager Jose Mourinho said. "There was no need to close the door. Just let the horses run freely."

As United's attackers poured forward in the final 10 minutes, scoring at will and in stylish fashion too, memories flooded back to the entertaining teams that Ferguson molded. United was profligate last season, the lowest scorer by far in the top seven with 54 goals, but that seems to be a thing of the past in Mourinho's second year in charge.

"36 more games like this please," United midfielder Juan Mata tweeted. United beat West Ham 4-0 on the opening weekend.

Liverpool was less convincing and relied on a scruffy goal, scored by Sadio Mane after a defensive mix-up, to beat Crystal Palace 1-0.

Southampton scored a penalty in the third minute of injury time to beat 10-man West Ham 3-2, having thrown away a two-goal lead, and there were also wins for West Bromwich Albion, Watford and Leicester.

Players in the Premier League wore black armbands as a mark of respect following the attacks in Spain this week.

___

Steve Douglas is at www.twitter.com/sdouglas80