Paul Pogba has been left frustrated by his France teammate Laurent Koscielny’s reaction as the Manchester United man was sent off against Arsenal on Saturday evening.
The 24-year-old was sent down the tunnel in the 74th-minute after colliding strongly, studs up, with Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin. Koscielny pushed for a red card for Pogba, who he plays with in France’s national side, and the Man United player was angry.
Jose Mourinho revealed Pogba’s frustrations after the game, which United held out fantastically with a superb defensive performance, particularly from David de Gea in goal.
“I didn’t see the red card [incident],” Mourinho said. “I was not even looking in that direction. No television yet for me.
“I just know that Paul is frustrated and a bit disappointed with this colleague, Koscielny, with this kind of reaction. He is very frustrated because everybody knows that Paul is a clean player and it was not his intention, not at all, to be close to a red card.”
The tackle was not malicious, there is no doubt about that. Bellerin puts himself in a strange tackling position, with his thigh and leg presented horizontally. Pogba is looking to flick the ball away with the outside of his boot, but ends up stamping inadvertently on Bellerin.
It’s very easy to see why he was sent off, it is dangerous play and he shouldn’t have gone in studs up. But it was due to where Pogba connected with Bellerin that made it an easier decision. Had he done the same on Bellerin’s foot, where a conventional tackle would have seen Pogba connect, it would likely have been a yellow card.
Pogba is now set to miss the Manchester derby on Sunday, and two more domestic matches after that, with a possibility of a fourth if his ban is extended for sarcastically applauding the referee after the decision.