Paul Pogba’s superb run of form following the sacking of Jose Mourinho continued with another brace during Manchester United’s 4-1 win over AFC Bournemouth.
The Frenchman, dropped for Mourinho’s last three Premier League games in charge, dazzled against Cardiff City – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first game as caretaker manager – and scored an impressive pair against Huddersfield Town on Boxing Day.
And he was in a similarly rampant mood on Sunday, putting the finishing touch to a spellbinding run from Marcus Rashford five minutes in, before killing the game with a sublime header on 33 minutes.
His numbers from the game tell the story of a truly peerless display.
Paul Pogba's game by numbers vs. Bournemouth:
100% tackles won
2nd most touches (110)
most final third passes (33)
most shots (5)
most shots on target (4)
most key passes (3)
most goals (2)
Directly involved in 7 goals in his last 3 games. 😱😱😱 pic.twitter.com/49nYiTpc6q
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) December 30, 2018
Three games, three assists, four goals, three wins. Pogba’s resurgence under Solskjaer has been overwhelming and yet, at the same time, unsurprising.
These performances – not just from Pogba but indeed everyone in red – spring not from radical tactical change but more a general mood shift elicited by the caretaker boss. Mourinho brought storm clouds wherever he went; Solskjaer brings sunshine. It really is that simple.
That Mourinho failed to give Pogba this very straightforward and indeed logical type of platform from which to perform is not just managerial competence – it constitutes a crime against human nature itself.
All Pogba needed was to smile again. Mourinho wouldn’t let him. He’s certainly doing a lot of that now.