Football

Mourinho: United changing to suit Pogba

Manchester United are becoming Paul Pogba's team.

That is the assessment of Red Devils manager Jose Mourinho after his French midfield maestro turned in a Man-of-the-Match performance in the 3-0 win over Stoke City yesterday morning (Singapore time).

He set up Antonio Valencia and Anthony Martial's goals, with Romelu Lukaku getting United's third.

Pogba's showing led Mourinho to say: "He was moving the ball fantastically well, with long passes changing the direction and creating problems for the opponent...

"He's happy because the team is changing the profile and the profile is going more in his direction."

The Frenchman seemed to agree, saying: "We are playing very well at the moment, I am more forward and have more freedom to attack...

"I can use my ability more, my power, I can shoot and make assists. It suits me more."

The 24-year-old's performance at Old Trafford also had Sky Sports pundits Gary Neville, Jamie Carragher and Danny Higginbotham purring.

Said former Liverpool and England defender Carragher: "Some of the things he can do with the ball, the power, he's sensational...

"He was the best player on the pitch with his passing."

Pogba had the most touches of the ball (96) against the Potters, completing four dribbles and creating four chances, two of which led to goals.

Former United defender Higginbotham believes the Frenchman makes the "difficult look easy".

Commentating on the game for Sky Sports, he said: "He is just running this game

"It is just effortless for him. The way he drives past players, the vision that he has, the anticipation...

"He brings so much to this Manchester United team and Manchester United are a different team when he is in it. He makes the difficult look easy."

  • 35

    Paul Pogba has not tasted defeat in his last 35 EPL matches, the longest such run in the league.

The difference Pogba makes to United is clear from the statistics - the 24-year-old has not lost a English Premier League game since 2016, a run of 35 matches, the longest such sequence in the EPL.

Pogba is the league's joint-leader in assists with nine, alongside Manchester City stars Kevin de Bruyne and Leroy Sane.

Former United stalwart Neville believes the 24-year-old is magical.

He told Sky Sports: "When he's got that freedom to roam, he really is the magic, you want to get him on the ball as much as possible.

"There are very few central midfielders that can beat a man, the vision, take the ball on the back foot."

Amid the plaudits, Pogba is just focused on one goal, catching City.

He told Sky Sports: "Man City are in front of us, we always want to catch them, it was good that they lost but we have to think about ourselves. We have to win games."

Football