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Four things we learned from Jose Mourinho's first Man United game

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For Manchester United fans it must have felt a bit like Christmas having to wait nearly two months to witness Jose Mourinho's first game in charge of the Red Devils since being announced to replace Louis van Gaal in May.

An FA Cup victory in his final game in charge wasn't enough to save Van Gaal from the chop after a difficult Premier League campaign saw United finish disappointingly in fifth place.

Mourinho was brought in to shake things up at Old Trafford and he has duly done so, evident by United's opening game of pre-season against Wigan Athletic.

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It may have been a fairly comfortable victory for United in the end but was still a useful experience for the new boss and his backroom staff.

Here are four things we learned from Mourinho's Man United debut.

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Henrikh Mkhitaryan stars

The Armenian international joined from Borussia Dortmund after a stunning season in the Bundesliga last time out and comfortably looked the best player on the park.

Admittedly, there will be tougher tests than Gary Caldwell's newly promoted Championship side to come nevertheless, Mkhitaryan impressed in his first appearance on the right of midfield.

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The 27-year-old showed no fear with the ball at his feet and created two of the best chances of the first half. Two well-placed crosses in the box found Jesse Lingard and Memphis Depay but neither could convert.

He was substituted at half-time but all in all United fans will be very pleased with what they saw from their new winger.

Jose Mourinho's touchline presence

One of the biggest criticisms Red Devils fans aimed towards Van Gaal was his absence from the touchline during matches.

All too content to sit down make notes, United supporters grew frustrated with the lack of enthusiasm shown by the Dutchman. There was no danger of that happening with Mourinho.

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The Portuguese boss was on his feet for almost the entire game, constantly stalking up and down the technical area.

Although improving fitness would have been the main aim Mourinho was hoping to achieve but surely seeing and hearing the 53-year-old bark out instructions during matches is surely going to have more impact than Van Gaal's silent approach last season.

Luke Shaw's recovery from injury

Any injury that forces a player out for a lengthy period of time is difficult to recover from both physically and mentally but Luke Shaw looked like he had never been away.

The left back featured for the first time since suffering a double leg break last September and showed signs of his former self by regularly bursting up and down the flank, being a constant option for the man on the ball.

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Coming through the game unscathed will be a big relief for Shaw. The 21-year-old's performance suggested he can pick up exactly where he left off last season and become a key man in Mourinho's set up.

Daley Blind could still have a future

It looked like Jose Mourinho's comments about his preference for specialists over players who can cover various positions in his first press conference was a hint that Daley Blind could be on his way out this summer.

However, Mourinho chose to pick him in the starting XI for his first game and clearly with a point to prove, the Dutchman barely put a foot wrong.

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Partnered with new signing Eric Bailly, Blind looked sharp at the back, martialled the defence well to sniff out any Wigan chances and kept the famous Will Grigg very quiet.

With Dortmund, Man City and Galatasaray to come, Mourinho will learn a lot more about his new players from those fixtures but he would have certainly felt encouraged from what he saw.

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Topics:
Wayne Rooney
Daley Blind
Football
Premier League
Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Luke Shaw
Manchester United
Jose Mourinho

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