'Class' Paul Pogba 'Showed Good Personality' vs. Young Boys, Says Jose Mourinho

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 20, 2018

Manchester United's French midfielder Paul Pogba (L) shakes hands with Manchester United's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho after his substitution during the UEFA Champions League group H football match between Young Boys and Manchester United at The Stade de Suisse in Bern on September 19, 2018. (Photo by Alain GROSCLAUDE / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ALAIN GROSCLAUDE/AFP/Getty Images)

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho praised Paul Pogba after he scored twice and set up a goal in their 3-0 win over Young Boys on Wednesday.

Mourinho has reportedly had a difficult relationship with the France international but was full of praise for him when asked to assess his performance.

He told BT Sport (h/t MailOnline's Will Griffee):

"It was a good performance, he felt a bit tired the last part of the game and that's why he came off but solid, class, giving the team pace that we need sometimes.

"[He] kept possession and kept control of the tempo and of course a very good goal. The penalty showed good personality, when you miss one you have doubts about the next."

United got off to a difficult start in Switzerland, which Mourinho attributed to his players' caution on the artificial pitch so as to avoid injury.

Pogba settled the early nerves with his first strike in the 35th minute. After cutting on to his left foot with a neat bit of skill, he lashed the ball into the top corner from the edge of the area.

Nine minutes later, he confidently dispatched a penalty before slipping through Martial in the 66th minute to wrap up the win.

Sports journalist Simon Austin was impressed with Pogba's showing, while Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News noted the midfielder is improving in front of goal:

Simon Austin @sport_simon

Outstanding from Pogba. looking like a real midfield general

Samuel Luckhurst @samuelluckhurst

Paul Pogba didn't score his fourth #mufc goal last season until April. His fourth in 2016-17 came in November. Penalties obviously helping but seems to be more of a goalscoring threat in open play.

The 25-year-old hit double figures in each of his last two seasons with Juventus but has yet to do the same for the Red Devils. However, he has struck four times in six matches this term.

Former United stars and BT Sport pundits Rio Ferdinand and Paul Scholes enjoyed his showing, with the former saying (h/t MailOnline's Max Winters): "This boy has got talent coming out of every pore."

The latter has been critical of Pogba in the past, leading to angry reactions from his agent, Mino Raiola, on social media.

He was also full of praise but noted the need for Pogba to put in such performances more consistently: "With a player of that ability, the strength, speed and size of him, he should be passing forward and running on to it every week. If he did that more often, then nobody in the world would be able to live with him."

Sports writer Daniel Harris would still like to see him sustain a strong display throughout an entire game:

Daniel Harris @DanielHarris

Pogba does my absolute nut. For the second time in five days he strolls about doing nothing, then steps it up and the game gets settled. If he can apply himself for 90 minutes he can be a great.

It's never been in doubt that Pogba is a player of exceptional talent, one who could be decisive in winning matches for the Red Devils.

However, he will have his critics until he can do more than show flashes of what he's capable of.

Two goals and an assist against Young Boys represent a good start, but he needs to continue playing well in the coming weeks and when United face stronger opposition.


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