Jose Mourinho was back doing what he does best at Wembley on Sunday… lifting silverware, as Manchester United beat Southampton in the EFL Cup final.
Mourinho claimed the season’s first major trophy and ensured success just months after his appointment despite a largely disappointing United performance which was rescued by two-goal inspiration Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The 35-year-old Swede and Mourinho – instrumental in bringing him to Old Trafford after the pair forged a bond at Inter Milan – are now the two central figures leading Manchester United forward.
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Mourinho was brought into Old Trafford as the manager who is as close to a guarantee of success and trophies as it gets after a silverware-lined career at Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid.
Old Trafford’s joyless existence under Louis van Gaal demanded change and Mourinho was the identikit of the sort of manager required at ‘The Theatre of Dreams’ – a personality who would relish its history and surroundings rather than shrink from it.
Mourinho was also available and had a third Premier League triumph on his CV only 12 months earlier at Chelsea. It meant United were prepared to set to one side his track record for short-term stays in exchange for a quick fix.