LONDON, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Manchester United fans would be ill-advised to start dreaming about the Premier League title just yet but they will be heartened by another vintage performance in a 4-0 rout of Swansea on Saturday which showcased their attacking firepower.
Following the opening day mauling of West Ham by the same score, United manager Jose Mourinho was a happy man.
“I think the team is confident and in both matches winning 1-0 at halftime, we didn’t start the second half looking like we had to keep a clean sheet to win the match,” he said.
“We tried to control the game by keeping the ball and creating chances and we did that in both matches,” he added.
“The players that came on from the bench did well. Easy for me to make decisions, easy for me to make changes. The players make the manager look better and I thank their fantastic attitude because we know we have to have a squad to do something special this season.”
Midfield anchorman Nemanja Matic bossed the centre of the pitch, allowing a rejuvenated Paul Pogba to venture forward and score his second goal in two games while striker Romelu Lukaku netted his third after selfless work throughout the match.
Henrik Mkhitaryan and substitute Anthony Martial, who again scored as a late substitute, also continued to thrive.
“We are more confident (than last season),” Pogba told Sky Sports.
“We know each other more. We work for each other and I think that is easier for us. We want to carry on on this road.”
Mkhitaryan spoke about United’s passion and team spirit, factors which have been lacking for long spells since the departure of manager Alex Ferguson in 2013 when United won their 20th and last league title.
Cracks in last season’s disappointing sixth-place finish were papered over by winning the League Cup and the Europa League, the latter allowing United to qualify for the Champions League group stage.
Mourinho signed Matic, Lukaku and Sweden defender Victor Lindelof, who is yet to make his Premier League debut as Phil Jones forced his way into the starting 11 with good pre-season form.
United now have the squad depth they have lacked in the past four years and although their credentials are yet to be tested against stronger rivals, former Wales striker John Hartson believes they will be a different prospect this season.
“Clearly the opposition will get tougher for Manchester United,” Hartson told the BBC.
“But in terms of the first two games they’ve been faultless. In that three or four minute spell where they took the game away from Swansea, they were devastating.”
Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic,; Editing by Ed Osmond