Jose Mourinho praises Mkhitaryan's "strong mentality" after Zorya win

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Jose Mourinho praises Mkhitaryan's "strong mentality" after Zorya win

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SportsCafe Desk

12/09/2016

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has hailed Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s attitude after the club booked a place in the next round of the Europa League with a 2-0 win over Zorya Luhansk in Ukraine. Zlatan Ibrahimovic doubled United's lead after Mkhitaryan's stunning solo effort.

On a sub-zero night in Ukraine, Mkhitaryan produced a moment of brilliance by picking up the ball at the halfway line early in the second half and going on a mazy run before slotting it past the Zorya keeper.

Ibrahimovic added a second in the closing minutes of the game. Paul Pogba played a delightful through ball to release the 35-year-old Swede through on goal.

"It was a strong mentality," Mourinho said about Mkhitaryan's attitude.

The Armenian, who joined United for a fee of around £25m in the summer, has been a bit-part player for the Red Devils this season, and questions about his relationship with Mourinho were beginning to surface.

However, Mkhitaryan has now been in the starting eleven for the Manchester side in four of the last five games and scored his first goal for the club in Ukraine.

"He was determined to fight against his difficult adaptation. He worked hard physically and tactically, the talent was there, we knew that when we bought him. Now he's playing good in the Premier League, Europa League and EFL (League) Cup and now the goal means a little more happiness for him so I'm very pleased," Mourinho added.

United finished second in Group A behind Fenerbahce, who won against Dutch side Feyenoord in Rotterdam thanks to a Moussa Sow goal in the first half.

Southampton were knocked out of the competition on the away goals rule after Hapoel Beer Sheva's Maor Bar Buzaglo cancelled out Virgil van Dijk's goal for the Saints.

However, Tottenham Hotspur, who face United over the weekend in the Premier League, will join the Red Devils in the round of 32 after their exit from the Champions League.

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