MANCHESTER, U.K. (A.W.)—Manchester United’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan became the first Armenian national to score in the Premier League. Ninety-six countries are now represented on the score sheet of the top English league, according to The Score sports outlet.
“Since being given consistent minutes by [head coach Jose] Mourinho, the former Borussia Dortmund stud has added vital creativity and guile, showcasing the skills that made him so desirable to European heavyweights in recent years,” wrote The Score’s Gianluca Nesci.
Iranian-Armenian Andranik Teymourian—who represents Iran’s national team—had previously scored twice in the Premier League for the Bolton Wanderers F.C. French-Armenian Youri Djorkaeff also scored 20 Premier League goals for Bolton.
Below is a video of the game’s highlights. Mkhitaryan’s goal can be seen at 0:34.
Armenia’s 27-year-old captain and star midfielder’s goal led Manchester United to a 1-0 win against rival Tottenham. Mhitaryan was carried out in a stretcher in the 85th minute with a left ankle injury. Mourinho told reporters after the match that the injury was not serious and that he expects Mkhitaryan to be back in the lineup in the next two weeks.
“Mkhitaryan has been slowly integrated into United’s first team since his move from Borussia Dortmund last summer, with Mourinho keen to ease the Armenian into the demands of English soccer. Now he is settled, Mkhitaryan is looking the part. And the pace and quick thinking he showed for his goal was something United has been lacking,” wrote The Canadian Press.
Mkhitaryan agreed to join Manchester United on July 6, on a four-year contract with the option to extend for a further year.
“I am very proud to join Manchester United; this move is a dream come true for me. I am excited to play for a club with such an illustrious history and hope to be part of it for a long time,” said Mkhitaryan at the announcement of the deal on July 6. “I thank the trust the club and Jose Mourinho have put in me. Finally, I believe playing for such a great club honors my father’s memory, and the inspiration and drive he gave to me when I was young,” he also added.
During the press announcement, Manchester United coach José Mourinho said that he was excited to work with the Armenian star. “Henrikh is a very talented footballer who has been in such prolific form for both his club and his country. He is a real team player with great skill, vision and also has a good eye for goal. I am delighted he has chosen to sign for United. I believe he will make an impact on the team very quickly as his style of play is suited to the Premier League. We are all looking forward to working with him,” said Mourinho.