Manchester United were renowned for scoring late goals under Sir Alex Ferguson over the years – and they seem to be developing a similar habit under Jose Mourinho.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored in the final 10 minutes of Mourinho’s first official game in charge in the Community Shield against Leicester City in 2016, and the Swede went on to provide late winners twice more during his time at Old Trafford.
But he’s not the only player United have been able to rely on for last-gasp inspiration under Mourinho…
Jamie Vardy had cancelled out Jesse Lingard’s opener at Wembley, but Ibrahimovic made sure he had the last word when he climbed above Wes Morgan to head home Antonio Valencia’s cross via the post in the 83rd minute.
Zlatan’s gonna Zlatan.
United had won their first two Premier League games of the season but looked to be heading for stalemate at the KC Stadium until Marcus Rashford tapped home in the second minute of stoppage time following good work from Wayne Rooney.
This was at a time when Mourinho’s critics doubted whether he would give enough opportunities to an 18-year-old Rashford, doubts which proved unfounded.
United had fallen off the pace at the top of the Premier League by now and looked to have dropped more points after James McArthur cancelled out Paul Pogba’s opener, but that man Zlatan was having none of it.
Latching onto a Pogba through-ball, he slid in to beat Wayne Hennessey from a tight angle in the 88th minute to secure a deserved win on the night.
United scored not one but two late goals on this occasion to record the most dramatic of victories after they had fallen behind to a Grant Leadbitter strike.
Anthony Martial scored the first in the 85th minute, firing home from an Ibrahimovic knockdown, and just a minute later Pogba completed the turnaround when he stooped to head Juan Mata’s cross into the top corner.
United had led 2-0 in the League Cup final through Ibrahimovic and Lingard, but a Manolo Gabbiadini double earned Southampton the parity it had to be said they deserved.
However, just when it looked like the game was heading to extra-time, Ibrahimovic somehow found space in the box to head in Ander Herrera’s perfect cross and win United their fifth League Cup with just three minutes remaining.
— UTDST. (@utdstreet) November 9, 2018
United had gone 2-0 behind in this game courtesy of goals from Andros Townsend and Patrick van Aanholt so may well have been satisfied with a point once Chris Smalling and Romelu Lukaku had drawn them level.
Then Nemanja Matic of all players popped up with a thunderbolt from 25 yards to clinch all three points in the 91st minute.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan had scored against his former club to cancel out Pogba’s opener at Old Trafford, but Fellaini ensured Arsene Wenger went home empty-handed on his final trip to Old Trafford with another 91st-minute winner.
Fellaini had plenty of Arsenal players for company as he looked to get on the end of Ashley Young’s looping free-kick into the box, but the big Belgian got there first and somehow steered his header inside the post despite facing away from goal.
Newcastle led 2-0 after just 10 minutes at Old Trafford, and it was not until the 70th minute that United even managed to give themselves a lifeline when Mata reduced the deficit.
Martial scored an equaliser six minutes later to set up a grandstand finish, and Alexis Sanchez duly completed the comeback in the final minute with a firm header from Young’s cross.
In yet another come-from-behind win, Martial had cancelled out Callum Wilson’s opener at Dean Court to seemingly earn United what many would have felt was an undeserved point.
And if Bournemouth were feeling hard done by at that point, they’d have been left crestfallen when Rashford found space at the far post to bring down Pogba’s cross and bundle home from close range in the 92nd minute.
Afterwards, Mourinho described himself as the “luckiest manager in the Premier League”.
United had been beaten by Juve at home two weeks earlier and looked to be heading for defeat again in Turin following Cristiano Ronaldo’s wonderful volley in the 65th minute.
Juve had not lost a home game in the group stage of the Champions League since 2009 and had not even conceded in their three games of this campaign, but Mata bent in a brilliant free-kick to end that record in the 86th minute before Young, often key to these late comebacks, sent in an 89th-minute free-kick which found the net via Leonardo Bonucci and Alex Sandro.
Needing to beat Young Boys to make it through to the knockout stages of the Champions League, United looked set to draw a blank for a third successive home game in the competition.
That was until, just seconds after the board had gone up to signal three minutes of stoppage time, Marouane Fellaini collected Romelu Lukaku’s flick-on inside the box, held off his man and spun to fire low into the bottom corner.
It was hardly a vintage performance, but Fellaini’s intervention allowed Mourinho to keep up his impressive record in Europe.
“I am 14 seasons in the Champions League and 14 times my teams have qualified through to the group stages,” he said.
“The season I was not in the Champions League, I won the Europa League.”
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