Gary Neville admits Man United missed Paul Pogba in derby

The Man United legend believes Paul Pogba was missed during the derby loss last weekend

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
Man United star Paul Pogba Photo: The Sport Review

Gary Neville has insisted that Manchester United did miss Paul Pogba in Sunday’s 3-1 loss to Manchester City at The Etihad.

The France international didn’t feature in Jose Mourinho’s team due to an injury problem, which has also ruled him out of the international break ahead of Manchester United’s home clash against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Saturday 24 November.

Manchester City surged into an early lead thanks to David Silva’s goal before Sergio Aguero finished from a tight angle to put the hosts in control of the Manchester derby.

Anthony Martial halved the deficit from the penalty spot but Germany international Ilkay Gundogan restored their two-goal cushion and sealed three points for Manchester City.

Pogba inspired a comeback at The Etihad back in April after the World Cup winner scored two second-half goals to restore parity after a dominant Manchester City performance in the first half, before Chris Smalling netted the winner for the visitors.

The 25-year-old has struggled to find consistency since his return to Manchester United in a club record £89m deal, but Pogba has produced some memorable moments.

Manchester United were outclassed in the middle of the park as Ander Herrera and Nemanja Matic struggled to contain the Manchester City attack.

Former England defender Neville believes Pogba was a big miss for Manchester United last weekend given his ability to create a chance for his team-mates.

“This Manchester United team plays in moments and, although Pogba only delivers in moments, he’s the one player that has the arrogance to think he can play on any pitch in the world, against any team or player, and take them on,” Neville told Sky Sports.

“He believes in himself and it’s a great quality to have and shouldn’t be underestimated.

“And to carry that through with the scrutiny he has; the criticism and the price tag, he still carries that weight and is the one player the rest of the team look to. He can carry the ball, move it from back to front, he can find a pass.

“When I heard he hadn’t travelled with the squad this morning I thought Manchester United were in deep trouble because I was imagining a midfield of [Nemanja] Matic, [Marouane] Fellaini and [Ander] Herrera and wondering how they were going to get the ball through midfield.

“Paul Pogba has Manchester United’s most assists this season, he’s got three goals, and over the last few weeks he has a relationship with Anthony Martial blossoming.”

Manchester United signed Pogba in a club record deal in August 2016 following Jose Mourinho’s appointment as Louis van Gaal’s replacement.

However, the Red Devils haven’t been able to challenge for the Premier League title since Pogba’s return, although Manchester United have won the Europa League and the League Cup.

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