The most expensive player in Premier League history returned to the United side on late Saturday afternoon, and he put on a man of the match performance. The 24-year old central midfielder showcased his class with a well taken goal and an impressive assist for fellow Frenchman Anthony Martial. Man United ran out 4-1 winners in the game, with Pogba, Martial and Chris Smalling being among the goals. Summer signing Romelu Lukaku also ended a 7-game goal drought with a well taken drive into the roof of the net. Dwight Gayle was the goalscorer for the visitors.
Gayle put Newcastle ahead with 7 minutes on the clock, converting a cross from a De Andre Yedlin after a Victor Lindelof slip. The slip marks Lindelof’s second mistake leading to a goal in as many games. United equalized half an hour later, after Pogba beat Jacob Murphy out wide with a lovely bit of skill and hooked the ball to the far post for Martial to head in. United took the lead 8 minutes later, after Chris Smalling headed in from a beautiful Ashely Young cross. The goal sent United in 2-1 up at the break. Pogba added a third 10 minutes after the break, after youngster Marcus Rashford unselfishly headed the ball across to the returning midfielder. Pogba tapped the ball past Elliot for his 3rd goal of the season. 15 minutes later, £75 million striker Romelu Lukaku added a 4th and exercised some demons by ending a 7-game goal drought. Lukaku is now joint second in the goalscorers list in the Premier League with 8 goals. Liverpool summer signing Mohammed Salah leads the way with 9.
The Return of Pogba and Zlatan
Paul Pogba played 70 minutes on his return. The midfielder has been injured since the 12th of September when he pulled his hamstring against Basel. United have lost 2 games in that time. A 2-1 defeat to Huddersfield and a 1-0 defeat to champions Chelsea have left United 8 points off league leaders City. Jose Mourinho came out after the game and spoke about the affect Pogba has for United.
“Paul, you can see that there was and – now I can speak because he’s back – but you can clearly see Manchester United this season before Paul injury and after Paul injury,” Mourinho said.
“There are qualities in our football that influence our approach in matches, with Pogba and without Pogba, that’s as simple as that.”
Ibrahimovic also returned after 7 months out injured. The Swede tore his knee ligaments in April against Anderlecht. Speaking yesterday the Swede said his injury was worse then he let on.
“If people knew the real injury, they would be in shock that I was even playing. It was more than the knee but I will keep it personal – that’s why I choose not to talk of it,”
In relation to his recovery, Ibrahimovic stated,
“Lions don’t recover like humans”.
All eyes will be on Old Trafford for the next few weeks, Will Pogba and Zlatan bring the title back to Old Trafford?