Things have gotten off to something of a rocky start for Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United this season, but the Red Devils did pick up a positive result with an easy 3-0 drubbing of Young Boys in their first Champions League tie of the new campaign. Paul Pogba captained the side and scored a penalty for United, which was nice to see after the World Cup champion missed from the spot against Burnley in Premier League action recently.
Mourinho kept his faith in the oft-maligned playmaker and trusted him to deliver from 10 yards out. Pogba found the back of the net twice on the day as United joined Juventus at the top of Group H with 3 points apiece.
After the match, Pogba said,
“I didn’t have any doubts about taking the penalty. I know I missed [against Burnley] – Joe Hart got me that time. I have the confidence of the players to let me take it so I thank them for that and thanks the manager for letting me take it as well. The most important thing is to put the ball in and that’s what happened and I’m happy.”
If Pogba is going to be regularly involved in the Red Devils’ attack, the prospects of the team achieving big things this term is realistic. Pogba’s slump last season coincided with the team getting underwhelming results. If this is the player United will get all season long, bettors that understand value will be all over wagering on United around +2000 to win Europe’s most prestigious trophy.
The penalty conversion was Pogba’ second goal of the day after a spectacular individual effort from outside the 15-yard box for his first tally. Things got off to a shaky start for United in this one, but Pogba’s first goal on the stroke of halftime helped ease the tension for the Premier League side.
Mourinho had plenty of praise for a player he has often been at odds within their two-plus seasons together.
Of Pogba, Mourinho said,
“The first was a great goal and the second, I like the player to have the courage to take a penalty after one that he missed. I like that. He missed against Burnley but the next penalty the team has he is there to take it and make it 2-0 and to kill the game for us.”
Pogba now has 4 goals in all competitions this season after scoring 2 through his first 5 Premier League outings. Considering he mustered just 6 goals all of last season, the early-season form is a nice sign for United’s long-term prospects of winning trophies this season. Pogba bagged 9 goals at his first season back at Old Trafford two seasons ago after scoring 10 for Juventus, in each of the two previous seasons.
Mourinho has been adamant about wanting Pogba to get himself further up the pitch and into prime goal scoring situations. On Wednesday, that tactic worked beautifully as the 25-year-old was heavily involved in attack throughout the match.
“If I can do it I will try to help the team as much as possible. If I can score a goal or make an assist that will be great. The result was very important because it was the first game in the Champions League and we needed to start well. We did it and got the result we wanted. Maybe the performance should have been better but we have the result and the three points, so we are very happy. I’m happy as well to score the goals that were decisive in the win.”
United will play Wolverhampton Wanderers and Derby County within the span of 4 days before facing West Ham United in a couple of weeks. The Red Devils will resume Champions League action against Valencia on October 2 before a huge match against Pogba’s old club, Juventus, at Old Trafford on October 23. Cristiano Ronaldo, a former United player, is expected to return for that match after he is expected to be suspended for just one game following his red card in Wednesday’s Champions League action.