Monday 16 January 2017

Mixed fortunes against Liverpool for United's marquee signings

Paul Pogba suffered a bad day at the office against Liverpool but Zlatan Ibrahimovic again was his side's catalyst.

He may be 35 and in the twilight of a wonderful career but he is our talisman and the new leader of Jose's team. 
This certainly wasn't his best performance of the season - largely ineffective for long periods - but he was still the man who made the difference and produced the decisive contribution when we needed him most.

Isn't that what the best strikers are all about: peripheral in the most past but then pop up with moments of match-winning, game-changing brilliance to alter the outcome of a match almost single-handedly. 

Ibra brings a winning mentality to the club and continues to influence this side far beyond his specific, line-leading role. 

When he raced back to the centre circle after his 19th goal of a stellar season, he whirled his arms around and cajoled his team mates for one last push in search of a winner. 

With 89 minutes played, he hit a long, curling pass out wide to Antonio Valencia and then burst into the box for the return pass.
I haven't seen him move that fast all season  and it was a moment that demonstrated his desire, hunger and will to win - and those qualities seem to rub off on his team-mates. 

He now has 14 goals in 20 league appearances - the same total as Sergio Aguero and Alan Shearer, and not bad for someone who was supposedly old, slow and past his best upon arrival in England. 

Zlatan hit the ground running in the Premier League but Paul Pogba's United career has been a slow burner. 
He started sluggishly with a series of indifferent performances but he's come into his own and started to look the player we know he can be throughout our recent run of victories. 

He may have been trending on Twitter with his own hashtag prior to the Liverpool game, but he made a hash of things in an outing to forget.

He needlessly conceded the penalty when he inexplicably handled in a challenge with Dejan Lovren, missed a clear one-on-one opening and was frequently caught in possession.

Clearly a player with world class potential and attributes, Pogba endured a bad day at the office but even the best players have an off day and the young Frenchman should not dwell on this too much. 

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