French press react to Paul Pogba performance in UEFA Nations League semi-final

Kevin de Bruyne bottles a 2-0 lead to a Paul Pogba side who win 3-2. Where have we heard that one before?

Manchester United’s 2018 win over City was repeated for Pogba as his France side rallied from a two-goal half-time deficit to beat Belgium 3-2 in the UEFA Nations League semi-final.

Pogba was not on the scoresheet but struck the woodwork as France sealed an impressive comeback win with an injury time winner.

Photo by Emmanuele Ciancaglini/CPS Images/Getty Images

The victory made it two wins in a row for France, after having drawn the previous five games in all competitions.

Now they will contest the UEFA Nations League Final with Spain on Sunday.

Pogba played all 90 minutes as did Manchester United teammate Raphael Varane.

Anthony Martial was an unused substitute with strikers Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe (penalty) scoring France’s goals before Theo Hernandez scored a late winner.

Pogba started in midfield alongside Adrien Rabiot. France looked better once Aurelien Tchouameni replaced Rabiot in the 74th minute with the score at 2-2.

The Manchester United midfielder created three chances, more than any France player on the pitch.

He attempted three shots at goal, although none of them forced the goalkeeper to make a save.

Pogba completed 90 per cent of his passes, won three tackles, made one interception and one clearance.

Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

How the French press reacted

Pogba was credited by Footmercato for helping to inspire France’s comeback.

The website wrote: “Like his teammates, he was unable to stop the Belgian offensive waves in the last quarter of an hour of the first half. When he returned from the locker room, he was the first to try to wake his people up.”

Ouest France gave Pogba’s display a 6/10. This may not sound great, but consider that Antoine Griezmann was awarded a 4/10 along with Adrien Rabiot, and Benjavin Pavard a 3/10, Pogba’s score held up well.

Onze Mondial wrote: “He [Pogba] too, like his team, struggled in the first half with some unusual technical errors. He nevertheless raised the level in the second half and could even have scored if he had not touched the crossbar on a free kick.”

France are likely to be favourites heading into the final with Spain and with a trophy up for grabs, Pogba will be determined to win it. This could be the ideal way for him to warm up for his return.

The midfield was an even battle up against Belgium’s Youri Tielemans, who he will face when United take on Leicester City next weekend. The swagger of victory in this game could help give Pogba a little edge.

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