Armenian Magic 'Scorpion' volley was instinctive - Mkhitaryan

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The Armenian playmaker sealed victory at Old Trafford by diving beneath Zlatan Ibrahimovic's right-wing cross and flicking the ball past goalkeeper Jordan Pickford with his right heel

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Manchester United's midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan (C) strikes the ball with the back of his heel to score their third goal during the English Premier League football match against Sunderland December 26, 2016 play

Manchester United's midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan (C) strikes the ball with the back of his heel to score their third goal during the English Premier League football match against Sunderland December 26, 2016

(AFP)

Henrikh Mkhitaryan said his spectacular 'scorpion kick' volley in Manchester United's 3-1 victory over Sunderland on Monday had been a matter of instinct taking over.

The Armenian playmaker sealed victory at Old Trafford by diving beneath Zlatan Ibrahimovic's right-wing cross and flicking the ball past goalkeeper Jordan Pickford with his right heel.

The goal, reminiscent of former Colombia goalkeeper Rene Higuita's famous 'scorpion kick' save against England in 1995, was allowed to stand despite an apparent offside.

"I was expecting the ball in front of me, but I was already in front, so I got it behind me," Mkhitaryan told MUTV.

"So the only thing I could do, it was a chance to hit it with the back-heel. I did it and I succeeded."

Mkhitaryan came on as a second-half substitute, having previously spent two games on the sidelines with an ankle injury sustained during United's 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur.

Manchester United's midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan celebrates scoring their third goal during the English Premier League football match against Sunderlan December 26, 2016 play

Manchester United's midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan celebrates scoring their third goal during the English Premier League football match against Sunderlan December 26, 2016

(AFP)

His injury came just as he was establishing himself in United's first team and manager Jose Mourinho was delighted to see the former Borussia Dortmund star back in action.

"I have to watch back on TV because I didn't yet, but it looked for me phenomenal," said Mourinho, whose side drew level on points with fifth-place Tottenham in the Premier League table.

"I think he scored in the right goal, the Stretford End, with the people very enthusiastic just behind.

"It was a great moment and for him important because he was going up and up, and then the injury comes.

"He was out of two matches and he's back. And to be back not just (with) the goal, I think he also brought quality with his performance. I am obviously happy."

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