Manchester United launched their FA Cup title defense in full throttle by brushing aside Reading with a 4-0 victory in the third round on Saturday at Old Trafford.
Having rested key players like David De Gea, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba, Mourinho’s charges showed no signs of slowing down: with Wayne Rooney opening the scoring with an instinctive knee finish in the seventh minute.
The goal, his fourth of the season, drew him level with Sir Bobby Charlton as the Club’s leading goal scorer on 249 goals- a record set by Charlton 44 years ago.
Anthony Martial- who was heavily involved in creating the opener- doubled the lead in the fifteenth minute with his calm signature finish, while a Marcus Rashford brace after the interval put the result beyond reach for the Championship side.
The win itself however was significant on so many fronts.
It was United’s eighth consecutive victory for the first time since September 2009, and Mourinho’s longest winning streak on English soil since January 2006 during his first stint at Chelsea: but the journey hasn’t been without bumps and bruises.
Hard done by
Manchester United have felt hard done by this season as a result of howlers committed by referee, least of all the gaffer who has been slapped with multiple fines by the Football Association for amplifying their plight.
Needless to say however, the string of rotten luck came to an astounding end as soon as Jose Mourinho stopped complaining about poor decisions by match officials- well at least not in the glaring eyes of the media.
Through his individual brilliance capped with the unwavering desire to silence critics, Mourinho has managed to motivate and mould United into the most in-form team in the Premier League.
Active in all competitions
For all the initial talk about a crisis at Old Trafford, Manchester United are still the only team actively participating in all competitions.
They are 10 points off the top of the Premier League table, into the round of 32 in the Europa League, into the fourth round of their FA Cup defense, and host Hull City in the first semi-final of the EFL Cup on Tuesday.
As it stands, Manchester United are looking at the prospect of winning four trophies this season, on top of the Community Shield they clinched at the start of the season.
Going by their current rich vein of form, who’s to say it won’t be a clean sweep by the Red Devils?
Written by Brian Humphrey
Follow Brian on Twitter @brihum
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