Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has explained why he started Paul Pogba on the bench to favour Fred and Scott McTominay in the starting XI vs PSG.
The Norwegian boss benched the World Cup winner last weekend against Newcastle United and were drawing 1-1 until he brought in the World Cup winner late in the game. In Pogba’s presence, United scored three late goals to beat the Magpies 4-1 in the Premier League.
Solskjaer, who claimed it was due to injury concern that made him drop Paul Pogba to the bench vs Newcastle, named the 27-year-old amongst his substitutes against Paris Saint-Germain as well as he relied on Fred and McTominay to stop Neymar and Kylian Mbappe from playing at their best — of course, the pair did just what Solskjaer had instructed.
In the 67th minute, the Norwegian tactician brought in Paul Pogba in place of Alex Telles, whose debut was unbelievable, and the Reds would go on to win the tie 2-1.
The France star would not only provide the assist to Man United’s match-winning goal but would also create the most chances (3) than any player on the pitch despite playing for just 23 minutes.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer suggested that the performances of both Fred and McTominay which gave United stability at the back against Newcastle United was the reason they started again against PSG.
Asked for the reason behind the duo starting, Solskjaer told MUTV: ‘They’re in good form now, they’re good players and they played really well against Newcastle.
‘They laid the foundations for the win in that game, and I think they laid the foundation today as well.
‘Scotty played the first half as well with only one eye, that was the most impressive thing, because he lost his contact lens. So that was impressive.’
On Pogba’s performance off the bench, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer added: ‘Maybe at 1-1 in the middle of the second half we started to be more confident, played [more football]. I think Paul Pogba came on and did really well for us and we created chances.’