Paul Pogba’s international break has ended on a high after two successive wins.
Pogba’s France beat Sweden 4-2 on Tuesday night, following up a 1-0 win over Portugal days earlier. Last week Les Bleus had suffered a shock defeat to Finland.
The night did not start off too well for Pogba. In the fourth minute he struggled to clear a cross, and then missed a tackle, as Viktor Claessen opened the scoring.
Pogba’s night got better. He helped France get back into the game and had more touches than any midfielder on the pitch.
The Manchester United star touched the ball 87 times in total, a figure only topped by Sweden centre-back Marcus Danielson.
Pogba completed 87.7 per cent of his passes, while creating one chance.
He made three interceptions, won two aerial duels and completed seven long ball passes.
France boss Didier Deschamps was pleased with Pogba’s contribution.
Speaking to RMC Sport he said: “You just have to look at what he did.
“With what he is capable of doing in Portugal and tonight … He has pride, pride and above all talent.
“When you have to defend, he is able to defend. And when you have to project himself, he is capable of projecting himself.
“If there is a decisive pass to be made … There it is. Paul, he’s a top level player.”
Now the hard work starts
Pogba now returns to United and he will be needed ahead of a hectic winter schedule.
Even if he does not start the first match back against West Brom, he will be needed in the following games, with United facing Istanbul Basaksehir and PSG at home in the Champions League before the month is over.
He has played 237 minutes across three matches over the international break, and this will have helped him build up his fitness.
With extra fitness and confidence behind him from playing 90 minutes in two successive wins, Pogba could end up being United’s big winner from the international break.
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