The imagine of milk being thrown at Jose Mourinho – or, more recently, a bare-chested Marcos Rojo storming Manchester City’s dressing room – has led to many forgetting that Manchester United lacked even the slightest iota of creativity during Sunday’s 2-1 defeat at the hands of Pep Guardiola’s men.
In Paul Pogba’s absence, Man United were a blunt instrument going forward, with visiting goalkeeper Ederson having more touches on the ball than Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Romelu Lukaku.
Needless to say, with the Frenchman set to miss the next two games, Mourinho needs to add some creative impetus from somewhere ahead of Wednesday’s clash with AFC Bournemouth.
With that in mind, here is a potential XI for the game against Eddie Howe’s men featuring Henrikh Mkhitaryan at No.10.
The Armenian has been absent from six of the last seven match-day squads, with his last start coming during that no-show at Stamford Bridge, and supporters – unlike last time – have been largely unsympathetic to his plight.
He was given the chance to impress time and time again, charged with the responsibility of providing that zeal in the final third so crucial to opening teams up, and continually failed.
But Mourinho needs him now more than ever. With the watching world – even Louis bloody van Gaal – sinking its claws into United’s style, a strong performance from the 28-year-old would serve as the perfect response.