Paul Pogba won Manchester United’s game turning penalty against Aston Villa.
Admittedly, it was a soft call but there was contact from Douglas Luiz. Former United defender Rio Ferdinand called the Villa midfielder ‘clumsy’ for his challenge.
Pogba probably should have had a clearer penalty in the first half when he was elbowed in the mouth by Tyrone Mings off the ball in an incident which required treatment.
Pogba’s run into the box for the penalty was typical of the way he was able to approach the game thanks to United’s four man midfield.
With Fred and Scott McTominay alongside him, and later Nemanja Matic replacing the latter, Pogba was able to get forward and join Bruno Fernandes in attack.
If there is one criticism of him, it was that he was too wasteful. In the first half alone he had three clear chances and only shot with one of them, curling it wide. On other occasions he passed the ball off, and let another run into Fred’s path who shot over.
The best chance of the bunch came in the second half after a cross from Luke Shaw. From point blank range under a challenge, Pogba shot narrowly wide. This could have made the game 3-1.
It is hard to be too hard on him though. Pogba does not often get into these positions and this will be a game he can learn from.
Pogba did play a role in both goals too, winning the penalty, and earlier featuring in the build up to Anthony Martial’s first half opener.
By the numbers
Pogba had 69 touches of the ball, more than any Manchester United player on the night.
He created two goalscoring chances, had one successful take-on, and defensively he contributed too with three clearances.
Pogba also won more aerial duels (5) than any player on the pitch at Old Trafford on the night. He is putting the work rate in to match the flair he brings to the team.
Cynics may say he is playing for a move, but right now United are benefitting, and he is clearly playing for the team and his teammates.
United can really achieve something this season, and Pogba will be a key part of it if so.
Here is a look at how United fans reacted on social media to Pogba’s performance…
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