Paul Pogba treated Manchester United fans to a sumptuous display during their side’s 4-0 win over West Ham United on Sunday.
The Frenchman has enjoyed an impressive pre-season and, with the indomitable Nemanja Matic alongside him, ripped the core out of West Ham’s midfield, bombing forward at will and creating constant havoc.
He even put the cherry on the cake of what was a sublime team performance after 90 minutes, rifling home a precise drive from 20 yards past a helpless Joe Hart to hand United their fourth.
A quick glance at his stats sheds light on what was a commanding performance from the Frenchman.
Paul Pogba's game by numbers vs. West Ham:
87% pass accuracy
3 aerial duels won
2 chances created
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 13, 2017
The sight of Pogba and Matic together, calmly and assuredly guiding the ball around a frantic West Ham midfield, was something to savour.
A crucial keystone of Matic’s arrival was the liberating effect on Pogba, and it was there to see against Slaven Bilic’s men. But perhaps not in the way you’d expect.
The Serbian was not necessarily a wall of solidity that, in turn, gave Pogba more room further forward. In fact, the two harassed West Ham together, driving forward and looking to break through the lines whenever they could. One would win the ball and the other would bring play up the pitch.
It was a majestic kind of symbiosis that laid the platform for a trademark United home win, and supporters will be desperate to see more of the same.