Analysing Paul Pogba's brilliant display for Manchester United against Leicester
Finally, Manchester United fans have seen the best of Paul Pogba. After a junior career where he was ignored by Sir Alex Ferguson and a difficult return to the club, the world’s most expensive player strutted his stuff impressively, scoring his first goal for his team in a brilliant display.
Starting alongside Ander Herrera rather than Marouane Fellaini for the first time this season, Pogba benefited from having a more mobile partner next to him in midfield. Fellaini and Pogba were swamped against City, rendering them fairly useless in both defence and attack against their near neighbours. Herrera’s introduction allowed the summer acquisition more freedom to get forward, and it was freedom that he took full advantage of.
After weathering an early Leicester storm with Chris Smalling’s goal, United started to push their opponents further and further backwards, and Pogba was at the forefront of this. He would pick the ball up in defensive midfield, drive up the pitch and link with the likes of Juan Mata and Zlatan Ibrahimovic with some impressive passing. At this point in the game, Leicester couldn’t touch him.
The Frenchman was threatening to cause more problems for Leicester throughout the first half. Zlatan Ibrahimovic almost benefited from the number 6’s impressive vision when he struck a volley over from a sublime chipped pass. Two minutes later, the former Juventus star nearly scored himself with a testing strike from 30 yards.
United then turned the screw to go two and three nil up, with Pogba’s impressive form no doubt contributing to the fizzing football that they were now playing. He then got in on the goalscoring act himself, powering an excellent header into the far corner past a helpless Ron-Robert Zieler.
It was just rewards for an excellent first half display from Pogba, and showed the kind of threat from set-pieces that he will provide this season. Standing at 6’3″ and boasting outstanding upper body strength, it won’t be the first header he scores this season.
The second half was a much more subdued affair, but Pogba controlled the game excellently, without having the kind of go-forward that was such a prominent part of his first half display. Still, his calmness on the ball ensured that United were always in full control of their enviable situation.
Pogba made 99 passes, 65 in Leicester’s half, in a truly dominant midfield performance. He ran the show in the middle of the park and thoroughly deserved his goal. If he can continue to play like this, £89 million may not look too bad.
Featured Image: All rights reserved by habergaraj