Paul Pogba reacts to Jadon Sancho's first United goal

Jadon Sancho finally got off the mark for Manchester United in the 2-0 win over Villarreal.

Sancho thundered in United’s second goal on the night as qualification for the knockout rounds of the Champions League was secured with a game to spare.

Sancho’s celebrations on the pitch told their own story; his passion and relief were plain for all to see.

A host of stars congratulated Sancho on his goal after a tough period following his arrival from Borussia Dortmund.


It has not been easy for him coming in late after the Euros with an ear infection and then dealing with the pressure of a big-money move while the team as a whole was struggling.

Sancho has started United’s last two matches on the right of midfield and last night was one of his best performances for the club.

Paul Pogba did not travel with the squad due to injury but congratulated Sancho on Instagram following his goal.

Caretaker manager Michael Carrick showed great faith in Sancho, and the England winger repaid it with that maiden goal.

The key for Sancho now is to build on that strike, boosting his confidence and putting together a run of form.

Chelsea are next up for United on Sunday, and Thomas Tuchel’s table-topping side will pose another stiff test for Sancho.

Pogba also posted a more general message of congratulations to his teammates for getting the job done on a difficult night.

It has not been an easy few days for anyone connected with the club and Pogba has been unable to influence matters on the pitch in the past two games.

He has started his recovery but could well be out until the New Year, by which stage the identity of the man to lead United – until the end of the season at the very least – should be clearer.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.