Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has warned Paul Pogba is fitter and is getting better and better after he inspired Manchester United to victory over Aston Villa.
Pogba produced a man-of-the-match performance in Friday’s 2-1 victory at Old Trafford as United moved level on points at the top of the Premier League with champions Liverpool.
The Frenchman had a hand in Anthony Martial’s opener, won the penalty from which Bruno Fernandes scored the winning goal and registered 11 touches in the opposition box – the most he’s ever had in a Premier League game for United.
⭐️ Paul Pogba’s contribution for @ManUtd tonight
11 touches in opposition box – his joint most in a PL game
Completed 37/48 passes
Won 10/19 duels, 5/7 aerial duels
6x possession gained
2 chances created
Fouled to win a penalty pic.twitter.com/JnQ25Mx9cp
“Where Paul is getting fitter and stronger, you get performances like tonight,” Solskjaer said. “He maybe took 25 minutes to get going, but once he got going, he made a difference for us.
“We’re happy with his contribution. It’s important we get Paul on the ball, whether it’s low in the pitch or higher in between the lines.
“I know he started off wide while defending, but we wanted him to make runs in behind and get on the ball. His physical presence is important for us because we knew they are one of the strongest sides physically in the league.
“We needed players to match them and Paul showed his strength and skill for Anthony’s goal. Tonight I was delighted with his performance.”
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‘Special Pogba must be played in right position’
Former Manchester United striker Andy Cole was equally impressed with Pogba’s performance which he argues highlighted just how effective the Frenchman can be when deployed in his favoured position.
“I think we all appreciate that Pogba has great talent,” Cole told Sky Sports. “He’s got all the creativity in the world; you’ve just got to play him in his right position.
“Today, watching him get into those positions, his passing ability, he’s constantly on the ball… Paul Pogba is a special player, you’ve just got to try and get the best out of him.
“I think he deserved a goal. He was involved in all the good things Man Utd did this evening.”
‘Pogba dedicated to playing for United’
Less than a month has passed since Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola admitted his client was “unhappy at Manchester United” and needed to “change team”, and yet the same period has coincided with Pogba’s best form this season.
Former Premier League striker Darren Bent believes Pogba’s recent form is proof his commitment to the club cannot be questioned.
“The turnaround since his agent came out with the comments has been superb,” he told Sky Sports.
“If ever you wanted to show people you were dedicated to playing for Manchester United and wanted to put performances in, he’s done that. Tonight, he was superb and my man of the match.
“He played really well, inventive, creative and very good on the ball. He won the penalty as well and had a big influence on this game.
“Hopefully the consistency can continue because we don’t see that type of performance enough but when he does, we don’t give him enough praise and tonight, he was absolutely superb.”
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