Paul Pogba produced a talismanic second half performance to drive Manchester United towards a remarkable comeback win over Newcastle United in the Premier League.
The Frenchman, along with his teammates, looked clueless in a first half which saw Newcastle take a 2-0 lead against a hapless Man United team.
He was moved further back by Mourinho after half time – practically playing in defence – and the switch helped the 25-year-old drive United forward down the middle, playing with a sense of zip and precision which has been desperately missing in recent weeks.
A quick glance at Pogba’s numbers from a dramatic afternoon at Old Trafford shed light on how influential he was down the middle.
Pogba's game by numbers vs. Newcastle:
2 chance created
2/3 tackles won
10 ball recoveries
78 passes completed (most on pitch)
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) October 6, 2018
With the right kind of tempo and movement around him, Pogba glides down the middle, eating up the turf, in a kind of way which makes him the game’s dictator – the guy beating the drum.
And he did it relentlessly for those last 20 minutes, controlling the ball smartly at close quarters and bringing players into the game. The difference to the first half, when no movement existed at all, was staggering – and surely an indication to Mourinho of what needs to change going forward.