Who was Manchester United’s star man against Swansea City?

Man of the Match manunited.uk

Paul Pogba

Many Manchester United players produced excellent performances in their 4-0 thrashing of Swansea City on Saturday, but Pogba’s domination in midfield caught the eye, and he receives the award.

Able to roam forward into space after the signing of Nemanja Matic, the Frenchman dictated the pace of the attacks with his flicks and tricks, scoring one and assisting another two.

Since his world record transfer from Juventus last summer Pogba has received criticism from every corner of the footballing world. Many do forget that he is still 24 years old and that last season he did create United’s most chances and completed the highest number of successful passes and dribbles.

So it is not surprising to see the midfielder emerge from the first two games of the 2017/18 campaign as an invaluable asset to United.

After Phil Jones’ miss early on, United struggled to find the golden opportunity to break down Swansea’s rear guard, as they struggled to shift the ball through the middle of the pitch.

But just before half-time Pogba rose highest from Daley Blind’s out swinging corner, and as the Frenchman’s header rattled off the underside of the bar, Eric Bailly reacted the quickest to stab the ball into the net.

Minutes earlier Pogba had in-fact nearly got himself sent off for two rash challenges. The first on Tom Carroll spoke of a player frustrated at the pace of the game, while the second on Martin Olsson nearly resulted in the midfielder receiving his marching orders. Pogba got away with a ticking off from referee Jon Moss. He learnt his lesson.

For the next half an hour, the midfielder battled for loose second balls in the central area of the pitch as the game became scrappy and neither side could gain the initiative.

Jose Mourinho then decided to introduce both Anthony Martial and Marouane Fellaini to the match, and as Swansea started to tire the two substitutes linked up with Pogba and made a significant impact on the game.

In just under ten minutes United killed the game through Romelu Lukaku’s strike, but it was Pogba’s movement late on which turned an easy win into a rout.

Less than a minute after the second goal United surged forward again, Henrik Mkhitaryan laying off a delicate pass into the feet of Pogba whose perfectly weighted chip over Łukasz Fabiański nestled in the back of the net.

The strike marked his third goal in three consecutive league appearances, a feat Pogba had not achieved since his time at Juventus.

Ruthless was an understatement. A minute later United poured forward again, Pogba the ever-present in both attacks. His pass to Martial allowed his fellow compatriot to cut inside and pile the misery on the home side.

The question many United fans will ask is “can Pogba fulfil his potential?”. The early signs this season are promising.