Champions League: Paul Pogba proves United's main man against Young Boys

Hope Soto
September 20, 2018

Regular right back Antonio Valencia has been left out of the squad by Jose Mourinho over fears that the plastic pitch may affect his knees.

With a reference to Switzerland's greatest sportsman, 20-times Grand Slam victor Roger Federer, Mourinho urged his team to just get on with it.

Mourinho does not need to be reminded of the potential pitfalls of a visit to Switzerland, however.

The words "Mourinho", "trust" and "youth" don't generally go together to form a sentence but Dalot's inclusion was most certainly a show of faith, coming hot on the heels of Mourinho's impassioned defence of his use of another youngster, Marcus Rashford last week.

United and Young Boys have been drawn in Group H, alongside Italian champions Juventus and Spain's Valencia. Basel also dumped Alex Ferguson's United out in the group stage back in 2011-12.

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"He kept possession, he gave the team the pace we sometimes needed, and he controlled the tempo", said Mourinho afterwards.

Mourinho was delighted with his "class" display, praising Pogba for his stunning strike from distance to open the scoring and his confidence to step up and convert from the spot, despite missing against Burnley from the same position in the Premier League. "We found a certain balance in the team, especially in the competitive attitude, we are creating lots of chances, changing our profile of play, the way we attack opponents, and we find a way to protect ourselves in some specific situations and we manage to get six points after two defeats which is important for us".

"Do you see a team that's improving?" I told already Luke Shaw is playing tomorrow and apart from him we have Diogo, Ashley Young and Darmian ready to play.

He nudged the ball in to Fred, hoping for a return that eventually came via a Swiss foot, then strode onto the pass, glided onto his left and arrowed the kind of shot in the top corner that many of us can only dream of scoring with our good foot, let alone our wrong one. Matt Busby, understandably, urged his board to accept and United entered the hat for the preliminary round where they were drawn to play Switzerland's "team of the Fifties", Young Boys. His time at Old Trafford has been a story of ups and downs and infuriating inconsistency, but his performance against Young Boys was a reminder of just how good he can be.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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