Henrikh Mkhitaryan: Manchester United wonder volley was the best goal of my career
Henrikh Mkhitaryan described his wonder volley as the “best goal” of his career as the Manchester United forward continued his dramatic resurgence at Old Trafford.
From being frozen out earlier in the season, Mkhitaryan is fast establishing himself as a favourite among United supporters and marked his comeback from injury as a substitute with his third goal in as many games courtesy of a stunning piece of improvisation.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic whipped over a cross and Mkhitaryan, albeit from an offside position that was not spotted by the officials, managed to hook a volley into the far corner with a remarkable back-heel flick, despite the ball being behind him.
“It’s the best goal I’ve ever scored,” the Armenia captain said. “I’m very excited. I was expecting the ball in front of me but I was already in front of it. I got the ball behind me so the only thing I could do was to hit it with the back heel. I did and I succeeded.”
United manager Jose Mourinho was full of praise for Mkhitaryan. “All his career he has scored beautiful goals,” Mourinho said. “At the moment it is not just his goals, it is his defensive work, his creativity, and I’m so happy he has come back after his injury with this happiness and his feeling that people love him at Old Trafford. That is a very important feeling for him.”
Another summer signing who is going from strength to strength is Ibrahimovic, who took his tally to 11 goals in 10 games and now has 17 goals for United this term, the same as the club’s leading scorer last season, Anthony Martial. United have yet to formally activate the option to extend the 35-year-old Swedish striker’s contract by another 12 months but Mourinho said he is playing as though it already has been.
“It is activated in his brain and in my decisions and those of the owners and the board,” Mourinho said. “Independent of goals his work is amazing. He was making runs today against younger opponents. He was faster and stronger than them.
“I am not really surprised [by his goals] because he is a very intelligent guy and a very proud man and for him to decide to come to a club with the level of expectation of United in the most difficult league in the world is because he knows he can do it. I was completely clear that he would be ready and he is ready for more next season, he will be here again.”
David Moyes endured an unhappy first return to Old Trafford since being sacked as United manager in April 2014 and received an indifferent reaction.
“I thought it was fine,” he said. “I think Manchester United supporters are knowledgeable. They have seen some good teams, they have seen some bad teams. They are knowledgeable and I think most of them were very good. I am football supporter myself, so sometimes you’ll go with it, sometimes you won’t.”