Paul Pogba

Pogba: It’s an honour to captain United

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba captained the Reds in the Europa League quarter-final victory over Granada on Thursday evening.

With Harry Maguire absent due to suspension, Pogba was picked as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's skipper for the returnl leg.

It ended up being an eventful evening's work for the Frenchman, albeit it only lasted 45 minutes for the midfield man. Following a dominant first-half display against the Spanish outfit, which included a clever headed assist for Edinson Cavani’s opener, our manager opted to substitute our no. 6 at the interval.

After an unfortunate booking for a situation where Pogba, on the ball, was trying to get away from his marker, the boss made the decision to withdraw him at half-time. 

Highlights: United 2 Granada 0Video

Speaking to BT Sport, Pogba said that Ole made the right choice to bring him off for Donny van de Beek.

“There were some tackles, yellow cards,” Thursday’s skipper summarised in a post-match interview.

“It was a bit of everything. We got a goal in the first half, that made me happy. I had to come off, obviously. We had a 1-0 [lead], that was good obviously but I knew that if I come off, the player coming on would make a difference as well.

”The yellow [card] was unfortunate. For me, it wasn’t a yellow card and I’m sure [it’s the same] for a lot of people. I think it was a foul against me but I got a yellow card. We win the game and that’s the most important [thing].

Pogba then went on to describe the feeling of leading the Reds out as captain under the floodlights at the Theatre of Dreams.

“Of course, it’s a pleasure and an honour to be the captain here at Manchester United, in this stadium, at home,” the 27-year-old said.

“It’s an honour for me and I always try to do my best for this team, for this club. I was very happy and proud to have this.”

The World Cup-winner started out on the left in a free-flowing role, where he often drifted into midfield or into the box. After only six minutes, the midfielder’s attacking contributions reaped dividends, as he got the penultimate touch for Cavani’s goal with an elegant backward header.

“I made the run and knew he [Cavani] was behind me but the way the ball went to him, I guess it was perfect,” Pogba explained, before applauding the brilliant finish.

“He made a beautiful goal. I’m just glad I could help my team-mate to score.”

Pogba relished the opportunity of having something of a free role, a position that allowed him to express his creativity and drive forward. He likened it to where he operated in Serie A for Juventus.

“I really like it, because I can be in the box, I can make those runs as well,” he explained.

“Physically, I can make a little difference so it suits me. I like it a lot. It reminds me a lot of my old position in Italy, so, yeah, if I can help the team up there, that would be good.”

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