Belfast Telegraph

We can't allow Manchester United's £90m superstar to show quality, says CSKA boss

 

By Robert Jones

CSKA Moscow coach Viktor Goncharenko believes his side's bad luck will be Manchester City's gain as he prepares to face Paul Pogba at Old Trafford.

Pogba's red card against Arsenal on Saturday has been accepted by Manchester United, meaning the £90m midfielder is ruled out of Sunday's crucial Premier League derby and will instead take the field in the club's final Champions League group game.

The Frenchman might otherwise have expected to be given the night off, with the Red Devils' progress all-but assured.

"Pogba is a player who is able to do anything - it will make things easier for Manchester City and not for us," said Goncharenko. "Our young players will have something to learn from him playing but at the same time we can't allow him to play at his best and show what he is capable of."

Goncharenko arrived in England a matter of hours after his predecessor at CSKA, Leonid Slutsky, left Championship strugglers Hull by mutual consent.

"Any manager should be ready for a sacking at any time," he said. "Sometimes it is not even based on results. Of course we wished Leonid to succeed, but this is life, it is football."

CSKA's slim chance of reaching the next phase requires them to beat United as a first point of order, though Basel's result at Benfica and goal difference also have a part to play.

Russia midfielder Alan Dzagoev was unaware United are on the cusp of equalling a club record of 40 successive home games unbeaten. He said: "Old Trafford is a special stadium. I hope we will end it."

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