Jose Mourinho explains why Ibrahimovic is on penalty duty

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic has got his Manchester United career off to the perfect start with three goals from two Premier League games.

His third - and second against Southampton on Friday night - came from the penalty spot, to the surprise of a few who might have been expecting Wayne Rooney to step up.

The Man United captain was usually the first choice penalty taker under Louis van Gaal but the Dutch manager often rotated who took them if someone failed to find the back of the net.

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However, Jose Mourinho has a much clearer system in place and has revealed that he has given the job to three of his players.

Of course, Ibrahimovic is included as is Rooney while the third choice is new world record signing Paul Pogba.

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And the United boss was willing to let the trio decide amongst themselves who will take the shot each time they are awarded a penalty.

But Mourinho admitted after the 2-0 victory over the Saints at Old Trafford that the players chose Ibrahimovic as the primary spot-kick taker.

“I designate three – Paul, Wayne and Zlatan and sometimes I like the players to have the feeling it is for me,” Mourinho said.

Manchester United v Southampton - Premier League

“But Wayne and Paul, they told Zlatan, you are the first so when a penalty comes, you are the first option, if you don’t want to take then we are here.”

Zlatan made no mistake from 12 yards against Fraser Forster and he added that the decision had been made before the season had begun.

He said: “We spoke like two weeks ago about it so there was no confusion. It was decided long before, it wasn’t on the pitch.”

Mourinho's men maintained their 100% start to the campaign with the win over Claude Puel's team and there is now the general consensus the Red Devils will be in contention for the title.


Ibrahimovic has won domestic titles in Spain, France and Italy and thinks his latest club can add another trophy to his already glittering list of honours.

"I believe that we can win the title, I have this vision. But we need to work hard for it," he continued.

"The season is long, I'll work hard, the team will work hard & slowly we'll get better & better so let's see what the outcome will be."

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Wayne Rooney
Paul Pogba
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Premier League
Manchester United
Jose Mourinho

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