Mkhitaryan earns Mourinho praise after first Man Utd goal

Henrikh Mkhitaryan was singled out for praise by Jose Mourinho after opening his Manchester United account in the Europa League.

Mkhitaryan endured a tough start to his Man Utd career after his summer move from Borussia Dortmund, with the £30million midfielder struggling to even secure a spot on the bench.

However, the 27-year-old has started United’s last five games and netted an impressive solo goal during the 2-0 victory over Zorya Luhansk, which sent Mourinho’s men through to the knock-out stages of the Europa League.

"He has a strong mentality," Mourinho said. "He was very determined to fight against his difficult adaptation, and he's doing that in the best way.

"He worked really hard physically, tactically and the talent we know is there. The talent we knew what we were buying.

"He fought to improve tactically, he fought to improve physically, and now he is playing good in the Premier League, good in the Europa League and the EFL Cup, and now evolving a bit more happiness for him, so I'm very pleased."

Mourinho had expressed concern about the ice-cold conditions on a frozen surface in Ukraine, yet United came through without any issues.

"The pitch was better today than yesterday and good enough to play football on and we appreciate the efforts to give us a good pitch," Mourinho said.

"There are no miracles in this cold weather, we know it's difficult to have a good pitch, so we appreciate the efforts to give us a good surface."