Paul Pogba has played a starring role in Manchester United’s resurgence since returning from a hamstring injury but the midfielder admitted he was disappointed to miss out on Sunday’s Premier League clash with derby rivals Manchester City.
Mission accomplished: onto the next round 👊🏾Very happy for our victory! Disappointed to not play on Sunday but we focus on the present. Supporting our team all the way this weekend. @ManUtd #mufc #heretocreate pic.twitter.com/RcTAgw4Ylm
— Paul Pogba (@paulpogba) December 5, 2017
Pogba got two assists in United’s 3-1 win over Arsenal on the weekend but then got sent off for stamping on Gunners defender Hector Bellerin in the second-half. Since it was a straight red, a three-match ban followed and interestingly, United did not contest the decision.
The Football Association (FA) can extend a ban imposed on a player in case the club makes a frivolous appeal and perhaps the Red Devils were wary of that stipulation and accepted suspension without any complaint.
The games Pogba is going to miss are: Manchester City (home) on December 10, Bournemouth (home) on December 13 and West Bromwich Albion (away) on December 17.
Pogba’s suspension, however, does not apply to continental competition and that is why United’s record signing started and played an influential role in the Red Devils’ 2-1 win over CSKA Moscow in their final UEFA Champions League Group A game on Tuesday night.
The French midfielder was everywhere as he played the full 90 minutes at Old Trafford, spraying passes for the likes of Luke Shaw, Marcus Rashford and Romelu Lukaku. The visitors took a shock lead on the stroke of half-time but United responded in the second-half with a quick-fire double in a span of two minutes to clinch their fifth European victory of the season.
With the win over the Russian outfit, United confirmed top spot but have no time to rest on their laurels as their ‘noisy neighbours’ pay them a visit on Sunday.
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United trail their city rivals by eight points and could cut that deficit to five should they beat the Citizens, but with Pep Guardiola’s side on the verge of breaking a Premier League record for consecutive wins (13 going on 14), that’s easier said than done.