He's BACK! Pogba shuts up critics with masterclass for France

By Daily Sports on October 11, 2016

Views: 1,826

Heading into a crucial World Cup qualifying match against key rivals Netherlands, Paul Pogba would have felt a tonne of pressure as he took centre stage for France in the Amsterdam ArenA on Monday.

The midfielder has been heavily criticised for his poor form at Manchester United after his record-breaking transfer from Juventus. With one goal in seven games for the Premier League side – United's last in a 4-1 win over Leicester – Pogba has heavily underwhelmed for a side already five points behind rivals Manchester City.

And so as he swept France to a narrow 1-0 victory to gain a lead over Netherlands in Group A, the 23-year-old will have felt some vindication.

With a thunderous strike from 25 metres, Pogba fired Les Bleus to victory. He may have been lucky to meet with an apathetic defence and a goalkeeper in Maarten Stekelenburg unable to get strength behind his attempted save, but the ex-Juventus star’s stamp was all over the game.

From the early stages of the game, France asserted their dominance through Matuidi and Pogba, who were running the game from the centre of midfield and combining well with Dimitri Payet and full-backs Layvin Kurzawa and Djibril Sidibe.

The Dutch struggled to get out of their half in the opening 45 minutes, with Pogba and Matuidi imposing behind Antoine Griezmann.

Lined up against Kevin Strootman, a midfielder once coveted by United for the role the France No.6 now plays, Pogba had little resistance and he was able to roam free against the Dutch.

The Frenchman was dominant in a way he has not been for Jose Mourinho's men so far this campaign. His passing was excellent and neat, he was strong and composed on the ball and no opponents could really get near him. He owned everything around the centre of the park.

While France were pushing forward and combining well, their hosts were passive and lacking any threat whatsoever. The four players in the team with the most touches in the whole game were the defence.

It was a shame, then, that France were so wasteful in attack. Most of their shots were from distance, with Pogba and Kurzawa being the main culprits, and they lacked incisiveness when they tried to push into the final third. They also fell flat late in the game, with Janssen and Memphis Depay seeing big chances go missing.

Pogba was dragged back in the second half due to Netherlands’ resurgence and helped out ahead of Laurent Koscielny and Raphael Varane. His aerial presence was crucial as he made a six clearances in the game.

France are now joint top of Group A alongside Sweden and have gained an important three points against an important adversary and it’s heavily thanks to Pogba. The starlet showed he can offer decisiveness and leadership for his nation, now he needs to do it at Old Trafford. (goal.com)

•Photo shows Paul Pogba

Source Daily Sports

Posted October 11, 2016


 

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