Manchester United great Phil Neville says that Paul Pogba simply froze at Old Trafford against Liverpool in one of United’s biggest games of the season since the Frenchman returned to the club.
Pogba missed a glorious chance to open the scoring before giving away a penalty for a blatant handball shortly after, allowing James Milner to score the first goal of the game for Liverpool.
The midfielder’s blushes were spared by Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s late equaliser as United went on to dominate proceedings in the second half, but that was not enough to save Pogba – United’s record signing – from widespread ridicule and criticism after the game.
Neville was sparing in his cirticism of the midfielder, but admitted that the France international did not put in the performance expected of him, particularly in his duties defending set-pieces, where he routinely lost Dejan Lovren who was meant to be man marking.
“I’m not so sure he should be picking up Lovren,” Neville said on BBC’s Match of the Day.
“I see Lovren as the best header in the Liverpool team but Jose said after the game that United aren’t the biggest team.
“He finds himself blocked off by Klavan and he panics. Just look at his reaction.
“He doesn’t know where the ball is, he doesn’t know where the man is, he panics, he loses his bearings.
“It’s a clear handball. Michael Oliver, who I thought was outstanding on the day [gives the penalty].”