Ole Gunnar Solskjaer called on Manchester United’s big players to step up for the Europa League semi-final.
Paul Pogba may have ended up on the losing team, but his performance did not warrant it.
The Frenchman gave everything and could do little about his attacking teammates wasting the chances he helped provide.
Pogba created four chances in total, the joint highest of any player on the pitch.
It was a tally matched only by Bruno Fernandes, with the duo combining effectively at times to put Sevilla on the back foot.
Ever Banega created the most chances of any Sevilla player, with two.
What was also impressive about Pogba’s play was his willingness to run with the ball and drive United forward.
Pogba made nine successful dribbles, higher than Sevilla’s Banega who registered seven.
On the United side only Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford came close, with four.
Perhaps the main disappointment for Pogba was that he only had one shot at goal, late on. United needed to get him into positions where he can threaten, and be a big more selfish.
In the main, his partnership in midfield with Fred worked, aside from the fact United lost. They played well together, and it should also be noted that Pogba won three tackles, bettered only by Fred (7).
Pogba’s 85 touches was the most of any United player, with the excellent Banega topping him from Sevilla’s side with 109.
There was one particularly impressive moment when he expertly brought down a high ball on the edge of his own box in the first half, turned, and played Marcus Rashford through for a run on the opposition goal.
Defeat will hurt Pogba
Pogba knows what it is like to win this competition having done so with United before.
He has won the World Cup with France and knows all about the highs of winning trophies.
That will make the pain of defeat hurt more, and he may feel a personal responsibility that he did not step up to score a decisive goal or do more.
But when you look at his performance, you can see that Pogba gave everything for the cause.
He has worked tirelessly over the past three months and has helped secure Champions League football for next season.
If we can add in more talent around him then he may end up winning silverware next season.
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