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31st Jan 2018

Paul Pogba’s performance against Spurs received widespread criticism

Robert Redmond

Tottenham Hotspur blew Manchester United away at Wembley on Wednesday night.

Spurs scored after just 11 seconds, when the ball fell to Christian Eriksen in United’s penalty area, and their evening didn’t get any easier.

Then, after 28 minutes, Phil Jones turned the ball into his own net. Kieran Trippier fired a low pass across the box, aiming for Harry Kane. But Jones reached the ball first, and made a mess of his clearance, shanking it into the top corner.

However, two sloppy goals from Manchester United’s perspective doesn’t do justice to how good Spurs were. Mauricio Pochettino’s side put in one of the performances of the season. United appeared scrambled and disjointed throughout, but Spurs made them look that way from the first whistle, pressing them all over the field, and winning all of their individual battles.

Paul Pogba, who tends to play every minute of every game he is available for, was substituted off after 63 minutes for Juan Mata after a difficult night.

The French midfielder really struggled against Mousa Dembele, and was rightly taken off after failing to impose himself on the match. Mourinho is unlikely to ever play Pogba in a two-man midfield away from home again, judging by Wednesday’s performance, and his decision to take him off.

The reaction to Pogba’s performance wasn’t kind.