Manchester United star Paul Pogba was more involved than any player across 120 minutes against FC Copenhagen.
The Frenchman managed 111 touches of the ball in total as United made it through the quarter-final with a 1-0 win.
Pogba was part of an unestablished midfield connection with Fred, who he has not started alongside since September.
On a tough night in Germany, Pogba’s best work showed up on the defensive side.
Early on after a mix-up in the box as Mo Daramy threatened, it was Pogba rather than Harry Maguire or Eric Bailly who was on hand to control the ball and clear it from the penalty area.
It was also Pogba who won six aerial duels over the course of the game. Only Harry Maguire (7) won more.
He also made two interceptions and blocked one shot as he dropped back to help out the back four.
Pogba’s defensive contribution was praised by The Times, which picked him out with Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Eric Bailly and Maguire for helping to bail out the rest of the team.
It is good and important to see Pogba getting this recognition for his hard work on a night where he may not have made a decisive contribution in an attacking sense, but made several defensively.
A chance to repeat
Pogba has won the Europa League once with Manchester United in 2016/17. Now into the semi-finals of the competition, he has a chance to repeat the feat.
He scored three goals along the way that season as United eventually triumphed in the final over Ajax.
Injuries have meant that Pogba is still looking for his first goal of this season’s Europa League run. Hopefully he is saving one or two for next couple of games.
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