Champions League

Mourinho explains Pogba benching

2018-02-22 10:32
Paul Pogba and Jose Mourinho (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho explained why he left Paul Pogba on the bench for the Red Devils' Last 16 Champions League 0-0 draw in Sevilla in the face of growing speculation about his relationship with the midfielder.

Mourinho said the French midfielder started on the bench as he was not “feeling one hundred percent”, before criticising the media for focusing on Pogba instead of teenager Scott McTominay, who put in an outstanding performance.

“If I was one of you [the media] I would ask if the Manchester United manager agrees that Scott McTominay had a fantastic performance. My answer would be yes he looked a senior player with great maturity, tactical sense, good in possession, good in pressing.

He then went on to talk about Pogba.

“Paul made a big effort to try to give me what I asked. Paul replaced Ander [Herrera] and tried to give the game the same qualities. He lost a couple of possessions, but he gave us also stability. We had a good percentage of the ball and that means control of the game, and Paul had the responsibility for that.”

The Portuguese then turned his attention to the reverse fixture at Old Trafford in three weeks, and said he wanted “a big Champions League night”.

“I think we finished the game with more space than we had in the beginning, more close to the possibility of scoring a goal,” Mourinho said.

“The only moment we felt relieved was at the end of the first half, where by a couple of mistakes in possession they had a couple of good situations that gave this fantastic stadium the emotion they normally have for 90 minutes.

“Apart from that the game was even. Sometimes you have 15 shots but 13 of them are what I call statistic shots. So I feel the result reflects what the game was.

“Was it a good result? It’s not good, its not bad. Now we have one match to decide everything at Old Trafford. Old Trafford needs a big Champions League night and it’s going to get it.”

The return leg is on Tuesday, March 13.

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Tuesday, 23 October 2018
AEK Athens v Bayern Munchen, Olympiako Stadio Spyros Louis 18:55
Young Boys v Valencia, STADE DE SUISSE Wankdorf Bern 18:55
Real Madrid v Viktoria Plzen, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu 21:00
Ajax v Benfica, Johan Cruijff ArenA 21:00
Shakhtar Donetsk v Manchester City, Oblasny SportKomplex Metalist 21:00
Manchester United v Juventus, Old Trafford 21:00
Roma v CSKA Moskva, Stadio Olimpico 21:00
Hoffenheim v Olympique Lyonnais, Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena 21:00
Wednesday, 24 October 2018
Club Brugge v Monaco, Jan Breydelstadion 18:55
PSV v Tottenham Hotspur, Philips Stadion 18:55
Liverpool v Crvena Zvezda, Anfield 21:00
Barcelona v Internazionale, Camp Nou 21:00
PSG v Napoli, Parc des Princes 21:00
Lokomotiv Moskva v Porto, RZD Arena 21:00
Borussia Dortmund v Atletico Madrid, Signal-Iduna-Park 21:00
Galatasaray v Schalke 04, Turk Telekom Stadyumu 21:00
Tuesday, 06 November 2018
Monaco v Club Brugge, Stade Louis II 19:55
Crvena Zvezda v Liverpool, Stadion Rajko Mitic 19:55
Porto v Lokomotiv Moskva, Estadio Do Dragao 22:00
Atletico Madrid v Borussia Dortmund, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 22:00
Internazionale v Barcelona, Stadio Giuseppe Meazza 22:00
Napoli v PSG, Stadio San Paolo 22:00
Schalke 04 v Galatasaray, Veltins-Arena 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v PSV, Wembley Stadium 22:00
Wednesday, 07 November 2018
Valencia v Young Boys, Estadio de Mestalla 19:55
CSKA Moskva v Roma, VEB Arena 19:55
Juventus v Manchester United, Allianz Stadium 22:00
Bayern Munchen v AEK Athens, Allianz-Arena 22:00
Viktoria Plzen v Real Madrid, Doosan Arena 22:00
Benfica v Ajax, Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (da Luz) 22:00
Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk, Etihad Stadium 22:00
Olympique Lyonnais v Hoffenheim, Groupama Stadium 22:00
Tuesday, 27 November 2018
AEK Athens v Ajax, Olympiako Stadio Spyros Louis 19:55
CSKA Moskva v Viktoria Plzen, VEB Arena 19:55
Juventus v Valencia, Allianz Stadium 22:00
Bayern Munchen v Benfica, Allianz-Arena 22:00
Olympique Lyonnais v Manchester City, Groupama Stadium 22:00
Manchester United v Young Boys, Old Trafford 22:00
Roma v Real Madrid, Stadio Olimpico 22:00
Hoffenheim v Shakhtar Donetsk, Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena 22:00
Wednesday, 28 November 2018
Atletico Madrid v Monaco, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 19:55
Lokomotiv Moskva v Galatasaray, RZD Arena 19:55
Porto v Schalke 04, Estadio Do Dragao 22:00
PSG v Liverpool, Parc des Princes 22:00
PSV v Barcelona, Philips Stadion 22:00
Borussia Dortmund v Club Brugge, Signal-Iduna-Park 22:00
Napoli v Crvena Zvezda, Stadio San Paolo 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Internazionale, Wembley Stadium 22:00
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