EPL

Pogba enjoys 'beautiful goal and beautiful victory': I love winning!

By Sports Desk January 20, 2021

Paul Pogba will continue to play with a smile on his face as long as Manchester United keep winning, he explained after another decisive Premier League strike.

United reclaimed top spot with a 2-1 victory at Fulham on Wednesday, moving back ahead of Leicester City and Manchester City after their wins over Chelsea and Aston Villa respectively.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men triumphed having conceded first away from home for the seventh time in seven attempts this term with Pogba striking the winner after Edinson Cavani had cancelled out Ademola Lookman's early opener.

Pogba's effort was a fine left-footed blast from outside the area, his first league effort with his weaker foot from this range since January 2015 when he was still at Juventus.

It was a goal the midfielder revelled in, as he told BT Sport: "I hit it well. I didn't expect the left foot would be like this, but we try.

"If you don't shoot, you don't know what's going to happen. I'm really glad that the ball went in. It was a beautiful goal and a beautiful victory - that's the most important."

That strike marked the second time this month Pogba has fired United to victory, also netting the only goal at Burnley.

Yet he has also missed big chances - opportunities Opta would expect him to score - against Aston Villa and Liverpool since the start of 2021, with a wasteful attempt at Anfield on Sunday costing United two points.

Explaining his emotions after responding with a big goal, Pogba said: "It's not like I apologised, but I was really mad; I was really mad that I was close to the goal and maybe I should have done better.

"Today it went in so I'm really happy for that. The most important is that we had the win today, because it was a hard one, a very mature one.

"We had to defend and we knew it would be like this. We knew it and we've done it the hard way, the beautiful way. It's beautiful to win like that."

The broadcaster suggested Pogba, maligned for much of his United career, looked to be enjoying himself on the pitch in an all-action display that included more passes (80) and more passes in the opposition half (56) than any other player while leading the Red Devils in tackles (four), interceptions (three) and possession gains (nine).

"I love winning," he replied. "It's all about winning. I will always be happy when I win and I will always be happy when I'm on the pitch.

"Today we won, so I'm happy; the day we lose, I will be angry again. This is me."

And United cannot afford any slip-ups, with City, who have played a game fewer, and Leicester just two points back.

"We just know that we have to get our result. We knew we had to win and that's it," Pogba said.

"It's the Premier League, so you know it's always hard. It will never be easy. These are big teams as well, very close on points, so we have to do us. That's it."

Related items

  • Chelsea boss Tuchel takes aim at referee after ill-tempered Tottenham draw Chelsea boss Tuchel takes aim at referee after ill-tempered Tottenham draw

    Thomas Tuchel does not want referee Anthony Taylor to officiate a Chelsea game again, with the Blues boss left furious after his side's 2-2 draw with Tottenham.

    An ill-tempered encounter at Stamford Bridge looked set for a victory for the hosts after goals for Kalidou Koulibaly and Reece James, despite Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg's response.

    But a last-gasp Harry Kane header earned a draw for Spurs, with the full-time whistle marked by an aggressive confrontation between Tuchel and opposite number Antonio Conte.

    Both men were shown red cards by Taylor, but much of the German's ire stemmed from his belief that the referee failed to spot a number of incidents, including an alleged offside before Tottenham's first goal and an apparent foul on Marc Cucurella by Cristian Romero prior to the late equaliser.

    Speaking after the game, Tuchel suggested it was far from an isolated number of Chelsea fans who felt Taylor made mistakes during their matches.

    "I don't think just some of the fans think that," he stated. "I can assure you the whole dressing room of us, every single person, thinks that. 

    "I can't understand how the first goal is not offside and I can't understand how when a player is pulled by their hair, the other player stays on the pitch."

    Asked whether he would prefer Taylor not to oversee Chelsea's matches, Tuchel concurred, though he also pointed to the VAR official as equally culpable for the decision-making process.

    "Maybe it would be better, maybe it would be better," he added. "But honestly we also have VAR, to help make the right decisions.

    "Since when can players have their hair pulled, since when is that? And if he does not see it I don't blame him – I didn't see it.

    "We have people at VAR who check this, and then you see it. And how can this not be a free-kick, and then a red card? How?

    "This does not even have to do with the referee in this case. If he does not see something that's why we have people to check if this is a decisive error or not."

    Tuchel failed to spot his own post-game dismissal for his part in the fracas with Conte, and made clear his displeasure that he faces a touchline ban, adding sarcastically: "So good - I cannot coach but the referee can whistle the next game."

  • 'You can only sit back and watch' - Bayern's Davies dazzled by Mane 'You can only sit back and watch' - Bayern's Davies dazzled by Mane

    Sadio Mane is a "top player" who "you can only sit back and watch", says Bayern Munich team-mate Alphonso Davies after Sunday's 2-0 win over Wolfsburg.

    The Senegal international, who arrived from Liverpool ahead of the start of the 2022-23 season, has made an instant impact at his new home, setting the Bundesliga alight with his performances.

    A superb league debut in a 6-1 rout of Eintracht Frankfurt last week saw him get himself on the scoresheet, and only a VAR intervention stopped him from finding it again this weekend.

    But even without another goal to his name, Mane - who fired the Reds to a domestic cup double last term and his country to Africa Cup of Nations glory, plus World Cup qualification - has left his team-mates impressed.

    "Sadio Mane, you see this guy, he's a top player," Davies told the Bundesliga's official website. "He's hard-working, he's fast, we try to get the ball to him as much as possible because he's a very quick guy.

    "He's a good player. We're happy to have him here. He feels good in the team and as you can see, the performances he's [shown] lately, you can only just sit back and watch."

    Dayot Upamecano also offered high praise for the forward, adding: "We know he's a very big player, he's helping us a lot. We're all very happy he's here.

    "He gave me tips about a lot of things. He's one of the best players in the world and everyone of us is happy that he's here."

    With two wins from two to start the new season, Bayern are flying in defence of their Bundesliga crown, one they earned last year despite a string of so-so performances and a frustrating Champions League campaign.

    But Davies feels they have turned a page this term for Julian Nagelsmann's sophomore season, adding: "This year, we have a mindset that we want to keep.

    "Last year wasn't too ideal for us in [the] competitions but this year, we have some new faces [and] fresh legs. It's the beginning of the season, you want to keep this momentum going. We're just enjoying playing football."

  • Forest add Freuler from Atalanta in latest transfer Forest add Freuler from Atalanta in latest transfer

    Nottingham Forest have continued their busy transfer window by bolstering their midfield with the capture of Remo Freuler from Atalanta.

    The Switzerland international arguably represents one of the biggest coups managed by Steve Cooper's side to date, making his switch to the Premier League from a regular contender for Champions League qualification.

    Freuler follows hot on the heels of Emmanuel Dennis and Cheikhou Kouyate, both of whom were confirmed as Forest players ahead of their first home game back in the top flight against West Ham on Sunday.

    A Taiwo Awoniyi goal was enough to hand the hosts a 1-0 win at the City Ground in that match, downing David Moyes' Hammers and getting Cooper's men off the mark for the season.

    Freuler, a member of his nation's squads for both the 2018 World Cup and Euro 2020, netted when Switzerland beat Bulgaria last November to beat Italy to a place at this year's tournament in Qatar.

    He leaves Atalanta having made over 250 appearances for the club across all competitions, including featuring regularly in three successive Champions League campaigns between 2019-20 and last term.

    Reports have suggested Forest have agreed part with a fee of around £7.5million (€8.9m) for the 30-year-old.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.