Manchester United should see success as winning the Premier League, not just making the top four, said Paul Pogba after netting his first goal for over a year in another comfortable 3-0 win for the Red Devils at Aston Villa.
United became the first side in Premier League history to win four straight games by a three-goal margin as they closed to within a point of fourth-placed Leicester with the in-form Bruno Fernandes and Mason Greenwood also on the scoresheet.
Pogba missed the majority of the season prior to the coronavirus shutdown due to injury, but believes United must aim higher next season in the pursuit of newly-crowned champions Liverpool and Manchester City.
“We are really pleased with ourselves, but we know we have to carry on as well,” Pogba told Sky Sports.
“We are talking in training that we have to carry on, that’s what Manchester is, it is a big club and the performances the last few weeks are the standard of Manchester.
“We didn’t win the Premier League, that’s the standard, we didn’t win anything yet so there is a lot of work to do.”
United could still end the season with two trophies as they face Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-finals on July 19 before restarting their Europa League campaign in August.
“This year we have two goals, to go for the Europa League and the FA Cup so we go for that,” added Pogba.
“Supporting our Juventus and Sampdoria friends @blaisematuidiofficiel, @albinekdal and all athletes and people around the world who are facing this difficult moment,” the midfielder wrote. ⠀⠀
“Be strong, #StayAtHome and be safe 💪🏾! New training camp is called …⠀⠀ Quarantine PP Arena, open 24/7! 🏋🏾♂. Having fun working at home 🏠 with my brother @victorlindelof!”
He added, “I know the cheeky ones will talk about the Juventus jersey 😏 I’m just supporting my friends … that’s all, nothing more 😁).”
United centre-back, Victor Linderlof, also joined the Frenchman in the indoor training and wore a Sampdoria shirt to show solidarity for Swedish teammate, Albin Ekdal, who equally tested positive to coronavirus.
The defender wore Ekdal’s Sampdoria shirt in the video which has sparked rumours of Pogba’s possible return to the Italian side.
Matuidi himself took to his Twitter account to issue an update about his treatment, saying he is “positive.”
“I am positive. I am positive, I am strong, morale is good. I am positive, we will collectively emerge stronger from this test.” the World Cup winner tweeted.
“Thank you for your messages of friendship and support. Let us remain disciplined and united. I am positive, we will do it.”
Je suis positif. Je suis positif, je suis fort, le moral est bon. Je suis positif, nous ressortirons collectivement plus forts de cette épreuve. Merci pour vos messages d’amitié et de soutien. Restons disciplinés et unis. Je suis positif, nous allons le faire. pic.twitter.com/iEEf3SMmeV
Pogba has struggled since returning to Old Trafford from Juventus in a club-record deal in 2016.
He was included in the PFA Team of the Year last season but his often-lethargic performances split opinion among supporters, while he reportedly had a major falling-out with former United boss Jose Mourinho.
Talking to The Times last week, Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola said he had made the club aware he was looking to move the player on and offered no assurances that the 26-year-old would travel for the tour.
“Everyone knows the willingness of Paul to move on. We are in the process of that. Everyone knows what the feelings of Paul are,” Raiola said.
Romelu Lukaku, another United player linked with a summer departure to Inter Milan, is included among the 28-man party, as are new signings Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James.
Solskjaer’s side will take on Perth Glory and Leeds in Australia before continuing on for pre-season games in Singapore and China.
Alexis Sanchez, who limped out of Chile’s Copa America third-place play-off defeat by Argentina on Saturday, is missing but would not have been included at this stage due to his international exertions.
Paul Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola is “in the process” of organising a move away from Manchester United for the Frenchman, he told The Times on Friday.
The midfielder has had a topsy-turvy stay at Old Trafford since joining for a then-world-record fee of 105 million euros (£89.3 million) in 2016 from Juventus.
Raiola claimed the Man United bosses know that the World Cup winner wants to leave the Premier League giants.
“Everyone within the club, from the manager to the owner, knows Paul’s wishes,” Raiola said in an interview with British newspaper The Times.
“Everyone knows the willingness of Paul to move on. We are in the process of that. Everyone knows what the feelings of Paul are.”
Raiola also cast doubt over whether Pogba would join Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad on their pre-season tour of Australia, with the players due to fly out on Sunday.
United had previously insisted Pogba would be on the flight.
“I cannot tell you anything. I live day by day,” said Raiola.
Pogba had said while in Tokyo last month that it “could be a good time to have a new challenge somewhere else”.
Despite scoring 16 goals this season, half of which came from the penalty spot, Pogba was often criticised for his contribution under both Jose Mourinho and Solskjaer as United limped to a sixth-placed finish in the Premier League.
Ignoring Pogba’s often-lethargic displays, Solskjaer had planned to offer him the role of vice-captain this season in an attempt to persuade the star to remain in Manchester.
However, Real Madrid and Italian champions Juventus have repeatedly been linked with Pogba, who is contracted to United until 2021.
Real is believed to be the 26-year-old’s preferred destination and in March he said the Spanish giants were “a dream club for every player”.
The saga over Pogba’s future is likely to drag on for several weeks.
The English transfer window closes on August 8, but the Italian window doesn’t shut until August 23, while the Spanish transfer deadline is September 2.
Paul Pogba has given a strong indication that he wants to leave Manchester United this summer to seek a “new challenge”.
The French World Cup winner rejoined United from Juventus for a then world record 89 million ($112 million) fee three years ago but has largely failed to live up to expectations.
Pogba has been strongly linked with a move to Real Madrid or even a return to Juventus with United having failed to qualify for the Champions League next season.
“For me I have been for three years in Manchester and have been doing great; some good moments and some bad moments, like everybody. Like everywhere else,” Pogba was quoted as telling reporters in Tokyo by The Guardian on Sunday.
“I think for me it could be a good time to have a new challenge somewhere else. I am thinking of this: to have a new challenge somewhere else.”
Despite scoring 16 goals this season, half of which came from the penalty spot, Pogba was often criticised for his contribution under both Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as United limped to a sixth-place finish in the Premier League.
Should Pogba move on, United are likely to seek a higher fee than they spent on the 26-year-old in 2016.
The summer overhaul in the transfer market at Old Trafford has already begun with the signing of Welsh winger Daniel James from Swansea for an initial 15 million ($19 million) fee this week.
The Red Devils have also been linked with bids for defenders Harry Maguire and Issa Diop and Newcastle midfielder Sean Longstaff.
Paul Pogba says Manchester United can hurt Barcelona at the Camp Nou as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side plot another unlikely Champions League comeback following their 1-0 home defeat.
Luke Shaw’s own goal from a Luis Suarez header was the difference in Wednesday’s first leg of the quarter-final at Old Trafford, where United failed to muster a single shot on target but largely shackled Barca’s glut of attackers.
Solskjaer’s men face an uphill battle but they will travel with memories still fresh of their remarkable recovery last month to beat Paris Saint-Germain on away goals after losing the home leg 2-0.
French World Cup winner Pogba was encouraged by how United largely kept Barcelona quiet.
“I think it was a good game,” the midfielder said. “Obviously we were playing against Barcelona, one of the best teams in the world, but we gave them some problems as well.
“They gave us some problems but we know where we can hurt them. Now it is one leg gone, you have the other one and we are going to give everything on this one.”
Asked if United could beat the Spanish league leaders, Pogba said: “Of course. If you don’t believe that you can beat them, you just let them go through.
“Of course we believe that we can beat them. We are Manchester United. Even if they are Barcelona, we are Manchester United and we play in the Champions League like they do and we can go through, of course.”
Winning at the Camp Nou will be a tough ask but Pogba said the PSG comeback breeds positivity.
“Probably Paris will be in their minds for sure because they saw what we can do against PSG,” he said.
“Obviously they will be comfortable on their own pitch but let us see. We’ll see what happens at the end. I think maybe the chances that we get we have to put them in and be careful.
“They didn’t have really a lot of chances. Maybe one when David (de Gea) made a great save but then after that they were not that dangerous, not a lot of chances.
“So, try to avoid this and be a killer in front. That’s i
That swaggering solo effort was followed by the influential Pogba’s second-half penalty as United moved into fourth place, one point above Chelsea, who face Manchester City on Sunday.
Winners of six consecutive away games in all competitions for the first time since May 2009, United are firmly in the hunt for a top-four finish after trailing 11 points behind those places on the day Jose Mourinho was sacked in December.
They have won 10 of 11 matches in all competitions since Solskjaer replaced Mourinho as interim boss.
Manchester United are more willing and better prepared to attack opponents under caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer than Jose Mourinho, according to midfielder Paul Pogba.
The French World Cup winner’s own return to form is in keeping with a rejuvenated United as a whole since the Norwegian replaced the sacked Mourinho last month.
Pogba, who was dropped by Mourinho for his final three Premier League games in charge, has scored four goals and provided four assists as Solskjaer has become the first United manager to win all of his first six games.
“The way we are playing we have more possession of the ball. We know more where to attack and where to go. We have more of a pattern of play and more of a structure,” Pogba told Sky Sports News.
“That makes it easier for everyone. So I would not say it is only myself. Yes, I have scored a few goals and had a few assists but it is all the team.”
Pogba was the provider for Marcus Rashford’s winner in a 1-0 victory at Tottenham last weekend that allowed United to close to within six points of the Premier League top four, having been 11 points adrift when Mourinho departed on December 18.
However, United were also indebted to goalkeeper David de Gea, who made 11 second-half saves at Wembley.
“It was great for us. It was great to show we are coming back and getting closer to the top,” Pogba said. “We needed points and we showed that we could beat a big team.
“I wouldn’t say (we had) luck because you create your own luck. David did his job and I thank him for that.”
Paul Pogba will be fit to return from injury for Manchester United’s Premier League match at Tottenham this weekend, interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said on Thursday.
The France midfielder linked up late with his team-mates for a warm-weather training camp in Dubai this week after being injured in a challenge by Jonjo Shelvey during the 2-0 victory at Newcastle on January 2.
Pogba missed last Saturday’s 2-0 FA Cup victory over Reading as a result of the knock, but trained well in the United Arab Emirates, according to Solskjaer.
“He looked OK towards the end, so he will be fit. He did have some problems but he came through the last couple of sessions well, so he should be OK,” the Norwegian said.
Solskjaer has made a perfect start as United’s coach since replacing the sacked Jose Mourinho on December 19, winning each of his first five matches in charge.
The former United striker, who is on loan from Norwegian club Molde until the end of the season, has made clear since his return to Old Trafford he would love the manager’s job on a permanent basis.
However, his opponent on Sunday, Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino, is believed by many observers to be the likeliest person to get the United job.
Solskjaer praised the Argentinian and justified the reports.
“He has done a very good job. That speculation is there for a reason -– because he has done well -– but it’s not my job to rate managers. My focus is on me and my team.”
The interim boss, though, has rejected the idea that this match represents his first serious challenge in charge of United, following wins over Cardiff, Huddersfield, Bournemouth, Newcastle and Reading.
“We’ve had tests. Newcastle away is a test and the first game was a test as to how everyone reacted. The first home game with the crowd is a test,” he said.
“We are not going to get as many chances to attack against these as we had before so when we have the ball we have to be ready to play well with it and we have to use the whole pitch because Wembley is a decent size pitch as well,” he added.
One of United’s biggest test will be containing the threat of Tottenham striker Harry Kane, the joint-leading scorer in this season’s Premier League, with 14 goals.
“He’s not bad is he? He is a fantastic goal scorer and one of the best in the world, but I have got a couple that I’m happy to work with,” Solskjaer said
“He is a top professional. Sure, whoever plays with him and trains with him can talk more about him, but from the outside he is a fantastic finisher,” the 1999 treble winner said.
Solskjaer, meanwhile, revealed defender Marcos Rojo has returned to his native Argentina as he continues to recover from a leg injury that has kept him out for a month.
“He has gone back to Argentina for a while because of his injury. How long will he be out for? How long is a piece of rope? For him, it was mentally important to go away and come back fresh again.”
Paul Pogba scored twice for the second time in five days as Manchester United’s revival since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced the sacked Jose Mourinho continued unabated with a 4-1 thrashing of Bournemouth at Old Trafford.
A third consecutive victory since Solskjaer took caretaker charge until the end of the season keeps United eight points adrift of Chelsea in the fight for a top-four finish.
Marcus Rashford also shone as the England international’s stunning run and cross teed up Pogba’s opener before he scored United’s third.
Nathan Ake pulled a goal back for Bournemouth just before half-time, but Romelu Lukaku came off the bench to round off the scoring before Eric Bailly was shown a late red card to leave United to finish with 10 men.
The change in mood around United in the 12 days since Mourinho was sacked is palpable, no more so in the performances of Pogba who was discarded from the Portuguese’s starting line-up for his final three league games in charge.
The French World Cup winner played a part in four of United’s five goals at Cardiff last weekend to get Solskjaer off to a flying start before scoring twice against Huddersfield on Boxing Day.
Solskjaer has spoken of his desire to see Pogba break into the box more regularly and he had the simplest of tasks to prod the ball into an empty net after Rashford had bewildered the Bournemouth defence.
Ake and Diego Rico were left beaten by Rashford’s combination of fleet-footed dribbling and pace before his cross perfectly picked out Pogba’s run.
The roles were reversed 10 minutes later when this time Pogba’s header teed up Rashford for a powerful strike that was deflected just behind.
However, in stark contrast to the final days of Mourinho’s tenure, it seemed only a matter of time before United struck again and once more it was Pogba who provided the finish with a bullet header from Ander Herrera’s cross.
Unlike Pogba, Nemanja Matic was one of Mourinho’s most trusted lieutenants but the Serbian has also epitomised the change in tack orchestrated by Solskjaer with the former Chelsea midfielder much more willing to look for a forward rather than sideways pass.
And Matic began the move for United’s third when he picked out Anthony Martial’s run and the Frenchman’s cross with the outside of his boot was turned home by Rashford.
For all the improvements of late, though, Solskjaer is still waiting for a first clean sheet since November as Ake beat Matic to power home David Brooks’s cross.
Rashford should have added to his tally when put clean through by Pogba, but didn’t get enough elevation on his attempted chip over Asmir Begovic before making way for Lukaku 20 minutes from time.
And the Belgian netted almost instantly when he squeezed the ball past Begovic on his weaker right foot from another Pogba pass.
Only the post then denied Pogba a first ever hat-trick when his low strike from the edge of the box came off the woodwork.
But United had to see out the final 11 minutes a man light after Bailly needlessly lunged in on Ryan Fraser to see a straight red card.