Manchester United warmed up for their Nissan Super Sunday clash against Liverpool with a 2-0 win over Hull City in the first leg of the EFL Cup semi-finals at Old Trafford.
Juan Mata scored the opener when he converted Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s header from close range early in the second half, with Marouane Fellaini nodding home a late second from Matteo Darmian’s cross.
It sealed a ninth consecutive victory for United, their longest winning run since the 2008/09 campaign, when they won 11 games in a row between January and February and went on to clinch a Premier League and League Cup double under Sir Alex Ferguson.
United have plenty of ground to make up in the Premier League if they are to repeat that feat this year, but their impressive run of form has certainly changed the complexion of their season.
United had only won four of their previous nine games as they struggled to maintain any kind of consistency, but keeping a 100 per cent record over the busy Christmas period is an impressive feat.
After struggling to convert chances earlier in the season, United have now scored 20 goals in their last nine games. It is a satisfying turnaround for Mourinho, and his side’s attacking improvements are spread across the team.
United have had nine different goalscorers during their winning streak. Superstar duo Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba have lived up to their billing with six and two goals respectively, while Marcus Rashford, Mkhitaryan and Anthony Martial – three players who struggled for form earlier in the season – have also been among the scorers.
United’s attacking depth has allowed them to maintain momentum during the hectic fixture schedule, and they will have a full complement forwards for Sunday’s showdown with Liverpool after Mourinho confirmed Ibrahimovic is expected to return from illness.