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Ibra, Pogba star in United win

Associated Press Associated Press 19/08/2016

High-profile signings Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba have starred for Manchester United in a 2-0 Premier League win over Southampton.

The good times appear to be back at Old Trafford, with a brace from Ibrahimovic - a towering header in the 36th minute and penalty in the 52nd - earning the victory, United's second straight to open their season. United beat Bournemouth 3-1 in their opening game.

"If the team does good, the individuals do good," Ibrahimovic told Sky Sports.

"I try to do what I'm best at, helping my team-mates, creating chances and scoring goals.

"I'm happy for the team. We are becoming better and better. It's a good start."

As pleasing to United manager Jose Mourinho will be the way Pogba slotted into the side in his first appearance since a world-record $US116 million ($A150.89 million) transfer, displaying his range of tricks, vision and box-to-box energy.

Pogba was given a warm reception in his first game in the famous red since a substitute appearance against West Bromwich Albion in March, 2012. He was a lanky, raw 19-year-old then; he returns to United as a powerfully built star of world football.

After two forgettable initial touches about 15 seconds into Friday's game - a lack of control quickly followed by a hack at thin air - Pogba showed just why United went to such lengths to sign him from Juventus.

One jinking run past three Southampton players and to the edge of the visitors' box just before halftime had the Old Trafford faithful purring, as did a shimmy early in the second half that left his marker on his backside.

Pogba played the whole game although not fully match fit and could have scored in injury time when he sprinted the length of the field following a counter-attack and shot just wide.

The expensive midfielder already looking settled; the star striker scoring with ease; Wayne Rooney seemingly revitalised. These are exciting times at United after three lean years since Alex Ferguson's retirement.

"We were good enough to deserve the victory and be in control," Mourinho said.

"We won comfortably and the result could have been bigger. It's a natural evolution, step by step. It's impossible to demand more from the boys. It's a great spirit with everyone working really hard."

The opening goal owed as much to Rooney's excellent cross as Ibrahimovic's bullet header.

The Swedish striker was surrounded by defenders but rose highest to meet Rooney's right-wing delivery and direct a header back into the corner.

Ibrahimovic then converted a penalty after left back Luke Shaw was tripped by substitute Jordy Clasie as he surged into the Southampton area. There didn't seem any hesitation when Ibrahimovic took the ball and placed it on the spot, even though Rooney is United's usual penalty-taker.

This was the first of a string of regular Friday night games in the Premier League, a new addition to the schedule this season.

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