Henrikh Mkhitaryan treated Manchester United fans to a dazzling cameo from the bench during their side’s 3-1 win over Sunderland in the Premier League.
The Armenian, with Jose Mourinho’s men 1-0 up, came on after 62 minutes and instantly changed the mood of the game, pulling Sunderland all over the pitch with his superb movement and technical prowess.
And then came that goal: a decent Ibrahimovic cross, a darting run from the Armenian, and a simply jaw-dropping scorpion kick to round things off.
Mkhitaryan’s stats from the game shed light on what was a truly sublime performance from the bench.
Mkhitaryan's game by numbers vs. Sunderland:
31 mins played
3 chances created
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) December 26, 2016
You’re still not processing it properly: a scorpion kick – an actual, honest-to-god, definitely-not-PG, perfectly hit scorpion kick, flying gracefully into the top corner. When was the last time you saw someone score a scorpion kick? Has anyone ever scored a scorpion kick at Old Trafford before?
There are moments in football that leave you genuinely speechless, and that goal was one of them. I must have watched it about 50 times by now. Processing something like this takes time.
It was perhaps the clearest illustration of Mkhitaryan’s natural, aesthetically mesmerising brilliance going forward. He is, despite being born in the Soviet Union, the most Brazilian player in the world at this given time. Every single action – a pass, a turn, a run, or a bloody scorpion kick – is carried out with unique style, almost ginga like, and United fans will be desperate to see him start against Middlesbrough.