Zlatan Ibrahimovic believes Henrikh Mkhitaryan is poised to make his mark on Manchester United after playing a starring role in Thursday’s 2-0 win at Zorya.
Armenia playmaker Mkhitaryan scored his first goal since leaving Borussia Dortmund for Old Trafford in the Europa League success, which secured Jose Mourinho’s side a place in the knockout rounds.
After a shaky start to life at United – including being hooked at half-time on his first start, a Manchester derby defeat – Mkhitaryan has blossomed in recent games.
He offered a glimpse of his true quality in sub-zero Ukrainian conditions, charging from the centre circle before nutmegging Rafael Forster and finishing smartly.
Ibrahimovic rounded off the win with a late breakaway goal – his 13th of the campaign – but the Swedish icon was quick to put the limelight on Mkhitaryan.
“The first goal was magnificent,” Ibrahimovic told MUTV.
“Henrikh had speed and control all the way, and the timing to put it through the defender’s legs… it was beautiful.
“He killed the game off by scoring the goal and did a great job tonight.
“I’m very happy for him because he’s a quality player and I hope he continues; I know he will. I’m super happy for him.”
He added of the testing conditions at Stadion Chornomorets: “It was not an easy game. The pitch wasn’t the best and it was very cold, but it’s not an excuse.
“We still did our job and worked very hard; we made a few simple mistakes, but worked very hard. In the end, we got the win that we needed.”