Gary Neville: Manchester United missed Paul Pogba against Man City

by Leo Nieboer

Gary Neville has noted that Manchester United missed Paul Pogba during their 0-0 draw with Manchester City on Thursday night.

The Frenchman picked up a knock during last weekend’s 2-0 win over Burnley and was ruled out for the visit to the Ethiad, with Marouane Fellaini playing instead.

And Jose Mourinho’s men, as a result, lacked the midfield creativity needed to bring the likes of Marcus Rashford, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Anthony Martial into the game on a regular basis.

Neville, speaking on Sky Sports, noted that Man United desperately missed the Frenchman’s verve in the middle.

“I don’t want to go too overboard but I think Manchester United missed Pogba. That arrogance to play the first pass,” he said.

Make no mistake, United’s front three – as seen on a few occasions over the first 30 minutes – had the potential to exploit Man City’s defence. Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi left plenty of space that Rashford looked to exploit, only to be left isolated as Fellaini dramatically failed to serve as the mediator between midfield and attack.

This is exactly where Pogba specialises: those pin-point, defence-splitting passes all over the pitch that immediately place opponents on the back-foot. Such a resource was not available at the Ethiad and United, in turn, found themselves pressurised in the middle and unable to seek out what could have been a destructive attacking triumvirate.

Supporters will just hope to see Pogba, a huge aspect of this current set-up, return as quickly as possible.

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