Zlatan Ibrahimovic believes Manchester United can beat Liverpool if they continue to demonstrate the same levels of power and confidence displayed over the last few weeks.
Jose Mourinho’s side, following an early lull, have now hit their stride, claiming nine wins in a row and extending their unbeaten record to 15 games.
A win against second-placed Liverpool on Sunday would take Man United to within two points of Jurgen Klopp’s side heading into the business end of the season.
And Zlatan, speaking to ManUtd.com, was in a buoyant mood ahead of the encounter.
“We had our dips, our ups and downs when we were winning, losing, winning and losing,” he said.
“Lately, we have been winning, where we have been more stabilised as a team. The coach has found his base, which is not easy when you’re a new coach coming to a new team and want to put in your philosophy, your game and the way you want it to be.
“I said from the beginning – slowly, slowly, we will get better and everything was about the click. We needed to click as a team. Now you the see the identity of the team. We are finding each other but I think we can do much more and be much better. And we will do it – we are working hard for it.
“The last one and a half months have shown the right way, the gap [at the top] has been bigger but now it’s better. So we are closer to that now. We wait for the other teams to have their dips, to make their mistakes, and we will be there.
“We will give them hard work until then because I think the second half of the season is the decisive one and that will decide. Whatever you want, wherever you will come, let’s see what we want. I know what we want. We want to show it.”
You could waste an entire afternoon listing the various inadequacies present in United’s approach last season. The underlying issue, however, was that Louis van Gaal‘s side – forced to struggle under the weight of the Dutchman’s lukewarm, restrictive approach – couldn’t forge any discernible identity.
With Mourinho, on the other hand, a clear identity is present: powerful, ruthless and dynamic, underpinned by a desire to not just win but with with style, and Zlatan – with ten goals in as many games – serves as an appropriate mouthpiece for such a strategy.