If this was the old Manchester United at work, it also looked suspiciously like the old Leicester City.
Rooney was introduced with seven minutes remaining but there was to be no more goals, try as Ibrahimovic, in particular, might.
After a shaky start, the men in blue actually looked the better team for a short spell, which was then unfortunately punctuated in the 22nd minute with a headed goal for Chris Smalling, from a corner.
United’s win ensured City, with a 3-1 victory at Swansea, couldn’t pull farther away from Mourinho’s side, which is six points behind its neighbor.
And as the goals rained in, it was tempting to wonder what must have been going through Rooney’s mind in the dug-out.
Wayne Rooney comes on as a substitute, next to manager Mourinho.
Without Rooney and Marouane Fellaini, United were rampant in the first half and went into half-time with a 4-0 lead.
Manchester City poured forward in the second half, Raheem Sterling wasting a good opportunity before Aguero coolly converted a 65th-minute penalty following a foul on Kevin de Bruyne. When the team plays well it’s easier to have good individual performances so I don’t think it was because of the changes. “Hopefully it won’t be the last one”. “I trust him completely”.
“We were very focused, we knew it was going to be hard and we showed a very big performance today”.
Substitute Demarai Gray’s exceptional effort reduced the deficit and Leicester threatened another, but United held firm to avoid a third straight league defeat in comprehensive fashion.
“It’s unbelievable what happened”. We tried to create some chances, but we lost it at the last pass.
“We made some mistakes, maybe it was down to concentration”. We knew that was going to be hard. “Last season we couldn’t beat Leicester; this time we’ve won against them twice already”.
“I think the team played very well, you score four goals, and the striker doesn’t score a goal and I think the striker plays phenomenal”. So just carry on, keep doing that, what we did today and after we can go and we have our goals. This was a comprehensive and crowd-pleasing dismantling of the defending champions, with the home side playing the sort of football and scoring the type of goals that Old Trafford wants to see, trashing Leicester’s reputation for doughty defending in the process. “And I can only start with 11 (players)”.
His response was to drop Rooney, who cut a slightly bemused figure on the sidelines as United, and Paul Pogba, in particular, made light of his absence.
Mata had come into the starting XI for Wayne Rooney, who was dropped to the bench by Mourinho. He is my man.
A run of three defeats from their past four games had led to scrutiny surrounding both Rooney’s form and the methods of new manager Jose Mourinho.