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Mourinho delighted to see Lukaku back amongst the goals

Lukaku scored against Newcastle. Credit: PA

Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic commanded the attention but Jose Mourinho was equally pleased to see Romelu Lukaku back on the scoresheet on Saturday.

Pogba, returning after two months on the sidelines, was the driving force as Manchester United returned to form with a 4-1 Premier League thrashing of Newcastle at Old Trafford.

But the gloss was provided by Lukaku, who lashed a ferocious shot into the roof of the net for United's fourth. It was his first goal for the club since September after a barren run of seven games.

During that drought manager Mourinho had leapt to the Belgian's defence in the face of frustration from fans, describing him as "untouchable in my team", and the 70th-minute strike gave credence to his words.

Mourinho said: "He is a striker and strikers like to score goals. It is not a problem for me if he works like he always does and he doesn't score goals but for their self-esteem, their confidence, strikers like to score goals.

"He was not doing that for us for a few matches and then all that can affect strikers' confidence. I was really happy that he scored that goal."

Lukaku's effort capped a fine comeback from United that kept Manchester City's lead at the top of the table to eight points.

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Mourinho hails Pobga's Man United return

Pogba scored on his return. Credit: PA

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho hailed Paul Pogba's comeback display and described Zlatan Ibrahimovic's return to action as "very emotional" after a 4-1 win over Newcastle.

Pogba came into the starting line-up for the match after two months out with a hamstring problem and produced an excellent performance, in which he created one goal and scored another.

Mourinho said of Pogba after the Premier League contest at Old Trafford: "He was top. It looked like he had not been out. He came back with a really great performance. He was a great influence in the game.

"He had to come out when he felt the first sign of fatigue, because we don't want to go over the limits. So he played a little bit more than an hour, and for that hour it looked like he wasn't for such a long time not playing football."

When it was then put to him that some players are irreplaceable, Mourinho agreed, and added: "He affects our football.

"We all know, myself and the fellow players, that certain players influence the levels of the team. With him we have much more creation. I am so happy.

"Now let's see the best decision for Wednesday (when United play Basel away in the Champions League) - if the best thing for him is to play again, or for him to rest, because he is a player we need to protect."

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