Manchester United fans were overawed by Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s display during their side’s 2-0 win over Zorya Luhansk in the Europa League on Thursday night.
The Armenian capped off another tidy performance with the game’s one moment of sheer brilliance, rounding off a defence-splitting run with a cool finish to give Jose Mourinho’s men the lead in the 48th minute.
Man United fans didn’t hesitate when it came to showering praise on Mkhitaryan’s performance.
Take a bow Mkhitaryan. Absolutely delightful #mufc
— Jamie Kelling (@19Jay_Kay89) December 8, 2016
Henrikh Mkhitaryan: We need more like him. Didn't make an instant impact so he kept his mouth shut and trained harder. Pure class. #mufc
— ManUnitedMedia (@ManUnitedMedia) December 8, 2016
Mkhitaryan has arrived! Our player of the season from now 😍😍😍
— Eddy Wæites (@E__Dub_) December 8, 2016
— Rohan Sengupta (@GarryDevilDada) December 8, 2016
We've got a gem in Mkhitaryan. Elite player with an elite mentality 👍👍
— Johnny Kills' Sombrero 🔰 (@pal_united28) December 8, 2016
The 27-year-old’s goal was, above anything, an illustration of his sublime footballing brain: charging down the centre of Zorya’s half, Mkhitaryan had the option to lay the ball off for Wayne Rooney. But following 48 minutes on what was a bobbly, unreliable pitch, he knew that such passes were risky. What does he do instead? Nutmegs their defender and leaves their keeper on the floor, of course. If you can’t pass your way to the goal, just run past their entire side instead.
Not many players can just burst past an entire defence at will, but Mkhitaryan, as is becoming growingly obvious with every game, is special. This is a man who has suffered, spending lengthy periods on the sidelines, and now he is taking his chance, further cementing his place in the starting XI with another sumptuous display.