The first half of the game was dominated by VAR controversy as Robbie Brady escaped a red card for a last-man challenge on Edinson Cavani, while Harry Maguire seemed to unjustly be denied a headed goal.
United ramped up the pressure in the second half, and with Pogba to the forefront got the victory.
📷 Paul Pogba: Match Snapshot
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s decision to start with Paul Pogba was controversial, though probably came about due to the France midfielder’s imposing physique.
Indeed, during the first half he was not active as an attacking threat and was most effective heading away set pieces.
After the break, though, he raised his level notably and increasingly drove forward with the ball, carrying his team with him.
⚽ 71’ Marcus Rashford teases his marker out on the right before flicking a cross around thigh height to Pogba, who is lurking in the ‘D’. Showing all of his impressive technical qualities, he pivots to volley home via a deflection.
On 81 minutes, he came close to creating a second for Anthony Martial, breaking through a couple of challenges then playing a deft pass to the striker, who was unable to complete the job.
〽️ Pogba: Rating Week-on-Week
Although a maligned presence by some at Old Trafford, Pogba generally scores consistently well. There has, however, been the odd stinker thrown in by the former Juventus man. His 9.2 FC Rating marks, however, a spectacular return to his best.
🗝️ Key Stats
Pogba match stats
|FC Rating||9.2||Rank #1|
|Duels Won||12||Rank #1|
|Aerial Duels Won||5||Rank #1|
|Tackles Attempted/Won||2/2||Rank #1|
Pogba: What Next?
Pogba’s decisive display should ensure that he is in the starting XI for Sunday’s big match against Liverpool.
If he is playing himself into some impressive form, his long-term future would still seem to lie away from Old Trafford.
If he is going to depart, though, he will want to do so as a hero.