Friday 9 December 2016

Paul Pogba enjoys comfortable Old Trafford return

Published 19/08/2016 | 22:06

Manchester United's Paul Pogba (right) had a comfortable return to Old Trafford
Manchester United's Paul Pogba (right) had a comfortable return to Old Trafford

The world's most expensive footballer, £89million man Paul Pogba, made his second Manchester United debut against Southampton on Friday.

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Here Press Association Sports tracks his performance.

RECEPTION

When you spend as much money as United have on Pogba, it makes sense to make a song and dance over his arrival. He was front and centre here, glaring broodily out from the cover of the programme and dominating the club's social media feeds.

The fans responded to this by offering him the biggest roar of all when the names were called out, and raising their volume whenever he came near the ball.

Having left the club in some acrimony four years ago, it is fair to say all is forgiven.

POSITIONING

The Frenchman started in a deep-lying position, often dropping behind Marouane Fellaini to pick up the ball from defence and start attacks.

But he was a bundle of energy, charging forward to support the forwards and charging out wide to double up with Luke Shaw when Saints attacked.

Pogba's ability to cover ground allows him to function in a number of roles at once and he was never far away from the action.

END PRODUCT

The 23-year-old had a glorious chance to mark his return with a goal as he rose to meet a corner in the 63rd minute. He was scarcely challenged as he met the ball and was well placed to pick his spot either side of Fraser Forster, but header over instead.

He drew one save from the edge of the box in the first half and stroked two decent chances wide in the second half.

Most of his passing was crisp and accurate but the couple of crosses he attempted were easily cleared.

Press Association

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