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2016/2017 English Premier League
  • Mike van der Hoorn (69')
  • Paul Pogba (15')
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic (21', 33')

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scores twice as Manchester United sink Swansea

Manchester United and Jose Mourinho returned to winning ways with a 3-1 victory at Swansea.

Paul Pogba's blistering volley and a Zlatan Ibrahimovic double -- his first Premier League goals since Sept. 10 -- put United in cruise control inside 33 minutes and secured a first win in five league games.

Ibrahimovic, whose first goal was the 25,000th in the competition's history, tarnished his day with a fifth booking of the season, ruling him out of the home game with Arsenal on Nov. 19.

Swansea later reduced the deficit through Mike van der Hoorn's 69th-minute header.

On the 30th anniversary of Sir Alex Ferguson's appointment as United manager, current boss Mourinho was forced to sit in the stand after accepting two Football Association misconduct charges.

United had not scored in three Premier League games, but Swansea are probably the opposition that any stuttering team would pick to face at the moment.

Their 10-game winless sequence marks the worst run since they joined the Premier League in 2011, and they would have dropped to bottom place but for Van der Hoorn's goal keeping them above Sunderland on goal difference.

Hit by injury and suspensions, Mourinho shuffled his pack and made five changes from the side held by Burnley in the previous league game.

Phil Jones and Michael Carrick made their first league starts of the season and Wayne Rooney returned after being out of the starting lineup since Sept. 18.

Rooney was prominent in the opening exchanges, almost setting up Gylfi Sigurdsson with an errant pass across the face of his own box and then curling just wide at the other end.

Swansea had also made four changes of their own after a miserable defeat at Stoke but the curious decision to shift Sigurdsson, their most creative player, out to the left from his customary central position reduced their attacking threat.

The pattern of the game was set, with United on the front foot, and Pogba rewarded that superiority with a sublime 15th-minute strike.

The France international chipped a pass into Rooney's path and, although Van der Hoorn beat Ibrahimovic to his layoff, the France midfielder had followed up to unleash a terrific 20-yard volley for his second league goal.

Marouane Fellaini almost doubled United's lead with another volley, but the second goal soon arrived.

Rooney fed Ibrahimovic from the left and he shrugged off Ki Sung-Yueng to deliver a low drive that Lukasz Fabianski in the Swansea goal might have dealt with better.

It was a landmark goal in Premier League history but, more importantly for Ibrahimovic, it was the end of a goal drought in the league that stretched back more than 10 hours.

Ibrahimovic only had to wait until the 33rd minute for his next goal with Rooney again the provider, the Swede powering through Angel Rangel's timid tackle to fire high past Fabianski.

The mood began to turn ugly among Swansea supporters as they turned on board members who sold their shares to the club's new American owners in the summer.

But they at least had a goal to celebrate after the break when Sigurdsson swung a free-kick into the box and Van der Hoorn escaped the attentions of Pogba and Jones.

Ibrahimovic was booked for fouling Leroy Fer before United almost punished Swansea again when Juan Mata slotted Rooney's pass just wide.

English Premier League Standings

POS Team GP GD PTS
1 Manchester City 12 +31 32
2 Liverpool 12 +18 30
3 Chelsea 12 +19 28
4 Tottenham Hotspur 12 +10 27
5 Arsenal 12 +11 24
6 AFC Bournemouth 12 +5 20
7 Watford 12 +3 20
8 Manchester United 12 -1 20
9 Everton 12 +4 19
10 Leicester City 12 +1 17
11 Wolverhampton Wanderers 12 -1 16
12 Brighton & Hove Albion 12 -5 14
13 West Ham United 12 -4 12
14 Newcastle United 12 -6 9
15 Burnley 12 -13 9
16 Crystal Palace 12 -9 8
17 Southampton 12 -13 8
18 Cardiff City 12 -14 8
19 Huddersfield Town 12 -16 7
20 Fulham 12 -20 5