Belfast Telegraph

Pogba leaves Mourinho raving after 'monster' performance

 

By Rory Dollard

Jose Mourinho hailed a "monster" performance from Paul Pogba after the World Cup winner answered Manchester United's call and helped deliver victory against Leicester.

France international Pogba played, and scored, in the World Cup final just 26 days ago but with options thin on the ground he barely hesitated when invited to take to the field against the Foxes.

Mourinho would rather have had more bodies available due to successful transfers - and made one pointed reference to his own role in the recruitment process - but he could not fail to be impressed by Pogba's powerhouse showing in the 2-1 win.

The midfielder successfully converted a third-minute penalty to give his side the lead and gave everything until the 84th minute - by which point Luke Shaw's first career goal had doubled the advantage.

Jamie Vardy's sniper's effort set up a tense finale but, after a frustrating summer, Mourinho was at least able to celebrate three points.

"Pogba was a monster, we thought maximum 60 minutes but he managed (more than) 80," he said. "Pre-season was very hard and we needed this fantastic spirit by the players to manage this performance and this result.

"(Picking Pogba) was not hard, the decision belonged to him. Andreas Pereira comes from the Valencia bench as a winger to play No.6, Fred (has had) 10 days training (and comes from) the Ukrainian league direct to Old Trafford. Ander Herrera injured.

"I had only two options, Scott (McTominay) or Paul, but if I play Scott I play two kids and a new player, so I asked Paul and he put himself available for the team and he was very, very good for us."

Pogba is thrilled his side are up and running with a victory.

"We should start the Premier League with a win and we did," he said. "I didn't have any pre-season games, I came back on Monday so it was very hard for the legs. We played very well, the performance was okay. We want to go up.

"We don't have a penalty taker, it's how we feel and I decided to take it. Maybe on the next game I will leave it to Alexis (Sanchez).

"Fred is a very good player, he will help us. I feel comfortable with him. Winning the World Cup is in the past. I like challenges, I want to progress and win more trophies."

Goalscorer Shaw said: "It was my first goal and that is all that was important, it doesn't matter how I scored. It's the best feeling I have had in my career. I have worked really hard over the pre-season and I had a lot of time to reflect, and work on what I needed to."

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