August 22, 2019
General

Paul Pogba struggles to make an impact during Man United’s 2-0 win over Newcastle

World Cup winner Paul Pogba is enjoying a new lease of life under interim Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Relegated to the periphery during the death throes of Jose Mourinho’s reign at Old Trafford, the £89.3million midfielder has returned to his best since the Portuguese’s departure.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at how he fared at Newcastle on Wednesday evening.

Role

As in previous games under Solskjaer, Pogba was handed a free role behind the front three, ostensibly from the left-hand side, and tasked with trying to link up with Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Juan Mata. With Newcastle sitting deep, he found the pitch compressed at times and started to drop deeper in a quest to find the space he needed to prosper.

Attitude

Booed more vociferously than any other visiting player as he disembarked from the team coach at St James’ Park, Pogba was quickly into the action as the game kicked off. Despite being disrupted repeatedly by Mohamed Diame until he went off injured, he was always available and looking for an opportunity to move the ball quickly in an attempt to stretch the massed ranks of black and white shirts.

Effectiveness

Struggled to make an impact early on, but whistled a 28th-minute shot just wide after a flowing move involving Antonio Valencia, Rashford and Mata. He found himself on the wrong end of robust challenges by Jamaal Lascelles, Matt Ritchie and substitute Jonjo Shelvey, to his clear annoyance, and was rarely afforded the kind of time and space in which he has revelled in recent games before passing up a glorious chance in stoppage time.

Overall

Maintained his record of playing every minute under the new manager, although his contribution on this occasion was more prosaic than in his two most recent outings, during which he scored twice on both occasions. Nevertheless, he played his part on a night when United needed a stroke of fortune in the shape of an error from Magpies keeper Martin Dubravka to set them on their way to a fourth successive victory under the Norwegian.

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