Thursday 19 July 2018

Paul Pogba calls on team-mates to 'kill the game' in Manchester derby

Manchester United's Paul Pogba under fire from Paul Scholes. Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff
Manchester United's Paul Pogba under fire from Paul Scholes. Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff

Daniel Zeqiri

Paul Pogba has warned his Manchester United team-mates they must be ruthless and 'kill the game' against Manchester City, in a rallying cry before Sunday's crucial derby.

The dynamic midfielder will miss the top-of-the-table meeting due to his red card in United's 3-1 win at Arsenal last Saturday, and starts a three-match domestic ban.

Man United's clinical finishing was a feature of impressive away victories at Watford and the Emirates when they took full advantage of opposition errors.

Pogba said: "To win those game you need to give everything. You need to be there offensively, defensively.

"Kill the game when you have one chance because they are City and they have quality as well in front and they can kill the game at any time.

"Yes and they are first for good reason because they have been doing great at the start of the season.

"They keep winning and they didn't lose one game and obviously mentally they are very strong. We need to be as good as they are mentally."

Sunday's match at Old Trafford is the biggest Manchester derby since the league fixture between the sides in April 2012, when a Vincent Kompany header put City's title chances in their own hands.

Jose Mourinho's approach against the 'Big Six' has been criticised, but his side's one and two-touch play on the counter-attack at Arsenal was almost a throwback to Man Utd teams of the past.

Pogba was at the heart of everything they did well at Arsenal, but his second-half dismissal for a perceived stamp on Hector Bellerin could prove costly.

Speaking about the incident for the first time, Pogba claimed there was not intent or malice his challenge on the Spaniard.

The France international said:  "I know him (Bellerin) as well, and I would never give him a tackle like this.

"Unfortunately for me I thought he would put his feet and he was in a position that was a disadvantage for me so I done it. It looks very bad but the intention wasn't like that.

"They had the decision, the referee, got the red card and that's football."

The club decided not to appeal the decisions so Ander Herrera is expected to deputise against City.

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