LARGER THAN LIFE: Zlatan Ibrahimovic

I mentioned something on Twitter the other day and took a lot of stick for it.

You know, “typical Chelsea comment”, “sour grapes” etc.

I said that, for me, Southampton were probably the better side at Old Trafford on Friday night.

Their forward movement was more precise and they carved out countless opportunities.

Had they had a world-class finisher, they could have easily scored three or four. I liked the way they looked, very compact, neat and lots of good running off the ball.

Saying that, United probably deserved the victory.

What’s hugely important for José Mourinho’s side is that despite not playing the best football, they still appear to be incredibly strong and dangerous when they’re on the front foot.

Somehow Zlatan Ibrahimovic covered the back pages following his brace, and yes it was a brilliant header, but if you try and be objective about his performance, it was pretty useless, he did f***-all for most of the game.

There has to be something said, however, for the sheer presence he has on the pitch. Its not like he’s even drawing defenders, it’s just his aura, his stature, that creates something unnerving for the opposition.

Of course there was something else happening on the pitch that had and will have real significance this season.

No, not Fellaini’s peroxide afro, Paul frikkin’ Pogba.

Pre-transfer I described him as a “championship winning player” and my god did he show it.

Despite giving the ball away carelessly on two or three occasions, he was just magnificent.

Wow, what a debut, dominant, strong, skillful, effective, elegant, he really is the real deal, just has a k** hairstyle.

Mourinho really has completed his side.

Most people believe the Portuguese tactician works from the back forward, building a solid defence and holding midfield.

But the strength in Mourinho’s build  like any martial artist will tell you  is the core.

You think back to his successful days at the Bridge – Terry, Lampard, Drogba… everything was built around the threesome.

It was unbeatable and he’s replicating that same tough spine in Bailly, Pogba and Zlatan.

It’s a formidable trio and an immediate foundation for a promising season.

So despite it being early days and two average performances from the Red Devils, they have to be considered as championship contenders.

I’m personally gutted that the Pog went home, especially after he described Old Trafford as “full of rats”, but for the disenchanted faithful of the last few seasons, “belief” is creeping back.

Conversely, Liverpool supporters have quickly piped down after two scary openers.

Defending like schoolboys and struggling to look like a coherent, Klopp-designed unit.

Its early days, but it feels like the heat is already on.

Tottenham away this Saturday is the pick of the weekend’s fixtures and Jurgen will need a great performance to settle the nerves.