Jose Mourinho has admitted that he was confident of securing all three points ahead of Manchester United's Europa League game against Zorya Luhansk. The Portuguese manager started a strong team against the Ukrainian side with Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Juan Mata among the starting XI.
Despite playing almost a full strength team, and a fair few chances in the first-half for Marouane Fellaini and Marcus Rashford, whose shot came off the underside of the crossbar, the Red Devils had to wait until the 69th minute to make a breakthrough. It came courtesy of Ibrahimovic who was in the right place at the right time to nod in a scuffed shot from Wayne Rooney, who had come on as a second-half substitute for Jesse Lingard.
The win over the Ukrainian side was the first for United in their Europa League campaign after losing their opening game of the group stage away to Feyenoord on matchday one. Mourinho, who was confident about the win, had to bring on more attacking reinforcements in the second-half to ensure they secured all three points, as Anthony Martial and Ashley Young joined Rooney off the bench.
The United skipper took over the number 10 role from Mata, and Mourinho admitted that he provided more of a threat on the goal front than the Spaniard. The former Chelsea boss also reserved special praise for Ibrahimovic, who once again came to the Red Devils' rescue with his sixth goal in ten games in all competitions.
"We always thought we could win and I had players on the bench to help me change the game. I played three of them and could have played others; my bench was full of attacking options. [Anthony] Martial gave us different speed in a moment when the opposition was getting a bit tired," Mourinho told United's official site.
"He was laughing and said he made a great assist. He gave me what the team needed at the time, which was a second presence in the box. He's more of a striker than Juan [Mata], and Juan went more to the right-hand side [when Wayne came on]. We started the game with a very good team, and I also had players on the bench to give me solutions for everything.
"He's [Ibrahimovic] a tremendous player. Even if he's not scoring goals, the dynamic he brings to the team, the movement and the leadership in attacking organisation, no-one can believe his age. What matters is the quality, and the quality is amazing," the Portuguese coach added.