Mourinho admitted the dramatic win over Crystal Palace failed to disguise the on-going problems of finding a system that works for both Sanchez and Pogba, whose egos appear to match their exorbitant wage packets while their performances do not.

They were United’s two worst performers in a mistake-ridden first half at Selhurst Park that prompted Mourinho to launch into a half-time rant at his players.

Sanchez lost possession a staggering 34 times in the game – 19 in the first half alone – while Pogba produced another erratic performance, prompting a wave of criticism from both fans and former players.

United claimed a great transfer coup when they snatched Sanchez from under the noses of neighbours City in the January window but on the evidence so far Pep Guardiola has had a lucky escape.

The former Arsenal striker has scored only once in eight games – and that a rebound after his penalty was saved – but the main problem has been his alarmingly sloppy distribution and his predilection to drop too deep to pick up the ball and cramp midfielder Pogba’s style.

Former United star Gary Neville said: “Mourinho has tried Sanchez everywhere else and it hasn’t really worked. He has to get him out of the centre of midfield. He has got to somehow try to play him into form. The problem now is working out the best way to do that.