Manchester United look like champions again, and they owed it all to a champion as they beat Southampton 2-0.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic got things going for United with a stunning 36th minute header to give United the lead, calming Old Trafford nerves after Southampton went close with a couple of chances, but the Red Devils went into the break with a 1-0 lead.
Paul Pogba turned on the style in the second half, and was comfortably United's best player on the pitch. However, it was Zlatan Ibrahimovic who scored his brace from a penalty, slotting home after Luke Shaw was fouled by Clasie in the box.
Jose Mourinho rang in the changes, and while Pogba did not score, the Manchester United manager will surely be loving life at the top of the Premier League.
FT: Manchester United 2-0 Southampton
90+3' ALMOST! Mkhitaryan lays the ball off to Pogba who had sprinted 50-60 yards on the counter, and his first time shot flashes wide of the post.
90+1' Nervous moments for United as Jay Rodriguez gets ahead of Bailly from a through ball, but Smalling hacks the ball clear. Southampton still trying to score here.
90' 3 minutes of added time
89' Chris Smalling comes on for Wayne Rooney. This is peak Jose Mourinho.
87' Almost! Targett with a low cross finds Tadic in the box, but his first-time left footed volley goes narrowly wide of the near post.
86' United's shape defensively has been excellent this game - Southampton have had a lot of the ball and have gone forward, but have struggled to break United down, with the exception of Cedric's crosses.
84' While United's attackers will grab all the headlines, their defence has kept out Southampton very well. Meanwhile Jay Rodriguez (Remember him?) comes on for Shane Long.
82' Martial comes off for Ander Herrera
81' WHAT A FIRST TOUCH! That's no United player, but Jose Mourinho controlling the ball on the touchline
79' ALMOST! Martial with a lovely pass through to Ibrahimovic that would have sent the Sweded clean through on goal, but he didn't appear to read the pass and the chance goes a begging.
Juan Mata's defensive actions tonight:
100% aerial duels won
100% tackles won
78' Southampton have a free kick. Cat among the Pigeons time?
76' Pogba with a lovely run just brushing off Southampton players like flies, before curling a shot with the instep of his right foot wide of the far post. He's enjoying life in the Premier League, isn't he?
76' Mata comes off for Henrikh Mkhitaryan
74' A spell of Southampton pressure ends with United defending well, right until Cedric plays a great cross from the right, only for Long to glance his header wide.
70' This is exhibition stuff from United. Pogba with a stunning turn and pass sends Martial on his way, before spreading the play to Valencia on the right who sends in a peach of a cross to Zlatan at the far post, but he heads the ball askew.
67' Charlie Austin comes on to replace Steven Davis. Puel is going for it, now.
64' WHAT A CHANCE! Rooney sends Martial clear on the left edge of the box, and with Zlatan waiting to tap it in for his hat-trick, the Frenchman opts to shoot but his effort is straight at Forster and he makes the save. Moments later, Shaw nearly sets up Rooney for a goal, as United turn on the style.
63' A lovely drop of the shoulder from Pogba sends off another United counter attack, which ends in Mata earning a corner. The Spaniards delivery from the set-piece is perfect and Pogba nearly scores with a huge leap.
It took Manchester United 430 minutes to score five Premier League goals last season. Just 142 this season
61' WHAT A WASTE! Southampton do well to fashion a chance on the counter as United scramble back, but Clasie opts to shoot when the ball is cut back to him in space, when there were about 5 Southampton shirts in the box.
58' WASTED CHANCE! A brilliant cross from Cedric on the right wing falls to Redmond in the box, but he scuffs his shot and the ball goes well wide of the near post. Southampton's finishing has been the difference between the two sides.
57' Zlatan is penalised for a foul as Southampton work the ball in front of United's defensive block. I see the beginnings of a bus that is looking to park here,ladies and gents..
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been involved in 53 goals in his last 32 league games - 41G & 12A.
The man is 34-years-old!
54' United have a comfortable lead at the moment, and calmly stoke the ball from side to side. This might be the perfect time to bring out some Van Gaal era football.
51' PENALTY TO UNITED! Careless from Clasie as he tugs Luka Shaw in the box. Zlatan to take
49' SOUTHAMPTON HAVE THE BALL IN UNITED'S NET! However, the goal is ruled out for a foul by Dusan Tadic in the buildup. This game isn't over yet! Moments later, Martial nearly catches out Forster with his typical cut inside and shot.
47' SHOT! A terrific run by Luke Shaw ends with the ball laid off to Mata in space about 20 yards from goal, but his first-time curler with his left foot is well over the bar. That's not how you impress Jose Mourinho.
46' Southampton get us underway in the second half! They face an uphill task
The players are out of the tunnel and the second half is moments away!
Manchester United have not lost a league home game after leading at half-time since May 1984 (1-2 vs Ipswich)
Paul Pogba completed 5 take-ons in the first half; more than every other player on the pitch combined (4). In addition, Paul Pogba had the most touches in the 1st half - 61, which was 27 more than any other Man Utd player.
Looking back at the first half, Southampton have shaded all the statistics and had the better chances, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic produced a telling moment, much like a big-name player. Paul Pogba has been United's best player in the first half, despite a nervous start.
HT: Manchester United 1-0 Southampton : The headlines have all been about Paul Pogba, but it was Zlatan Ibrahimovic with the telling contribution, as the Swede scored with a powerful header from Wayne Rooney's cross to give United the lead, after Southampton spurned a couple of good chances.
45+2' United are winding down the clock with halftime nearing
45' 2 minutes of injury time
|13||Brighton & Hove Albion||34||8||12||14||-15||36|
|14||West Ham United||33||8||11||14||-18||35|
|20||West Bromwich Albion||34||4||12||18||-25||24|