Paul Pogba produced a game-deciding performance during Manchester United’s second leg 2-1 defeat against Hull City in the League Cup semi-final.
The Frenchman, with his side 1-0 down and failing to produce any attacking impetus, poked home an equaliser after 66 minutes that proved enough to book a date with Southampton at Wembley next month.
The goal served as a catalyst for more bravado going forward from Pogba, who continued to harass Hull’s back four with a series of powerful runs and pin-point passes.
A glance at his stats sheds light on what was an ultimately game-deciding performance from the Frenchman.
Pogba's game by numbers vs. Hull City:
1 key pass
88% pass accuracy
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) January 26, 2017
For 60 minutes, Pogba was a largely uninspiring figure, keeping the ball ticking in midfield but not really doing much else. It was reaching that crucial stage in the game where rival fans were getting ready to trawl through their drafts and find something derogatory – probably written weeks ago – about the 23-year-old.
But then, almost out of nowhere, Pogba stepped up, poking home after some good work from Marcus Rashford to send Man United to Wembley. Jose Mourinho needed somebody to step up, to change the game’s overall mode, and Pogba duly did so – a big goal, delivered at exactly the right time – a moment that epitomised exactly why the Portuguese broke the bank to secure his signature over the summer.