Belfast Telegraph

Jose Mourinho hails Paul Pogba’s impact against Bournemouth

The French midfielder set up the second goal for Romelu Lukaku.

Jose Mourinho hailed Paul Pogba’s “top performance” as Manchester United coasted to a 2-0 Premier League win at Bournemouth.

United boss Mourinho rejected stinging criticism from ex-Old Trafford star Paul Scholes on Pogba, preferring instead to praise the France midfielder’s return to form.

The Red Devils hit back from Sunday’s 1-0 home loss to West Brom that gift-wrapped Manchester City’s Premier League title through goals from Chris Smalling and Romelu Lukaku at Dean Court.

Pogba crafted the opening for Lukaku, leaving Mourinho dismissing Scholes’ claims that the France midfielder’s below-par showing against West Brom proved “disrespectful”.

Asked to comment on Scholes’ criticism of Pogba, Mourinho replied: “I don’t agree. I agree that it wasn’t a good performance at all (against West Brom); with that I agree.”

Scholes told BT Sport “I thought it was a bit disrespectful towards his manager the way he played”, of Pogba’s showing in Sunday’s 1-0 Old Trafford defeat to basement club West Brom.

Mourinho made seven changes from the loss that handed Manchester City the league title for Wednesday night’s Bournemouth trip – but crucially retained Pogba.

And the former Juventus star produced a much-improved display, leaving Mourinho purring.

Asked to rate Pogba’s showing at Bournemouth, Mourinho replied: “Top performance. Top performance. Obviously the performance against City was special, coming with two goals.

“But this performance was a very similar level. So top performance. He can do it.”

United’s return to winning ways were not enough to ease Mourinho’s frustrations over Sunday’s shock home defeat to West Brom however.

The former Chelsea boss insisted he continues to mourn that loss, even if he still believes United can catch back up with champions and rivals City in future.

“My face is still the face of last Sunday and not the face of somebody who just finished a game and a win,” said Mourinho.

“I still live with the emotions of last Sunday.

“I know why you win, I know why you don’t win. Okay, no doubts about City’s quality, and that in any circumstances they would win this title because they are the better (team).”

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe bemoaned a rejected penalty claim after Luke Shaw had tangled with Callum Wilson.

“Callum’s got goal side and the chance to tap the ball into an empty net, and for me it’s a penalty,” said Howe.

“It was a key moment in the game, with us 1-0 down.”


From Belfast Telegraph