Sport

Mourinho hails ‘monster’ Pogba performance as Man United make winning start

Red Devils defeat Leicester City 2-1 in Premier League opener.

Manchester: Jose Mourinho hailed captain Paul Pogba’s willingness to put his body on the line to lead Manchester United to a winning start in the Premier League with a 2-1 victory over Leicester City.

Less than a month since Pogba scored in the World Cup final to help France lift the trophy, he was thrown straight into action by Mourinho despite just returning to pre-season training this week.

Pogba’s third-minute spot-kick settled the hosts’ nerves as United allayed some of the doom and gloom predicted by Mourinho after failing to land a series of targets before Thursday’s transfer deadline. Luke Shaw sealed the points seven minutes from time before Jamie Vardy headed home a consolation for the visitors.

After a week in which Pogba has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford, with Barcelona’s interest piqued by the Frenchman’s frosty relationship with Mourinho after he was repeatedly dropped last season, the Portuguese showed his faith in the midfielder by surprisingly handing him the armband. “Pogba was a monster,” said Mourinho. “We thought maximum (he could play) 60 minutes, but he managed 80.”

Transfer troubles for Mourinho

On top of his transfer troubles, Mourinho had a host of injuries and players lacking match sharpness after the World Cup to contend with. “I don’t remember in my career to be in so much in trouble to make my changes because I wanted to make five or six and I could only make three.”

Jose was particularly annoyed to miss out on a series of centre-back targets, including Harry Maguire. “It will be a difficult season for everybody, not just for us,” he said. “I had my plans for many months and I find myself with the market closed in a situation I did not think I would be in.”

(With inputs from Agencies)

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