Paul Pogba enjoyed a positive return to Champions League action with a commanding display in the middle despite Manchester United’s defeat to FC Basel on Wednesday night.
The Frenchman, who enjoyed a superb return from injury against Newcastle, completely dominated the midfield battle in the first half, carrying the ball forward with purpose and releasing teammates all over the pitch.
He was taken off midway through the second half as Mourinho continues to phase him back into full fitness after missing 12 games.
Nevertheless, Pogba’s numbers tell the story of what was another impressive run-out in the middle.
Pogba's game by numbers vs. Basel:
1 key pass
91% pass accuracy
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) November 22, 2017
It may feel like long ago and, in hindsight, utterly pointless following such an abysmal second half, but the opening stages of this encounter unfolded to the beat of Pogba’s drum.
He was a joy to watch as Mourinho’s men grabbed proceedings by the scruff of the neck early on, releasing Romelu Lukaku with an incredible no-look pass that the Belgian should have put away.
But it was the minutiae of his game that dazzled the most: clever turns away from opponent; flicks that take two players out of the game at once; precise passes that invite players to come forward. He makes everything tick so smoothly.
And supporters will just hope that his teammates capitalise on his galvanising influence next time around.