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Robbie Savage: Manchester United are mediocre without Paul Pogba

by Leo Nieboer

Robbie Savage has noted that Manchester United lacked creativity without Paul Pogba during their 2-1 defeat to Manchester City on Sunday.

The Frenchman, who played a central role in last weekend’s 3-1 win over Arsenal, picked up a red card during the latter stages of the game and received a three game ban as a result.

And his presence was sorely missed on Sunday as Jose Mourinho‘s men were made to look stagnant in the face of Man City’s fluid, progressive approach on the ball.

Speaking after the game, Savage noted that United sorely missed the 24-year-old’s presence against City.

“The biggest thing for United has been the total lack of creativity,” he said.

“Everyone said it when he was sent off at Arsenal last weekend, and it’s been proven true – they miss Paul Pogba.

“No one in a red shirt is passing the ball forward; he is so important to this Manchester United side.”

“Dominant from City, they’ve toyed with United at times and gone 11 points clear. They were tactically better and it could have been more than two. Brilliant from Pep Guardiola’s men.”

United have two truly world class players in Pogba and David de Gea. And sadly, one was suspended and the other unable to do anything about two close range finishes against City.

And herein lies the crucial difference between the two sides at this moment in time: if Mourinho loses Pogba, the whole thing implodes; if City, on the other hand, lose a world class player they just bring in another one. Bernardo Silva, for example, spearheaded AS Monaco’s title win last season and gets nowhere near their starting XI. Danilo, the Champions League winner, is another.

Since Mourinho and Guardiola descended on Manchester in June 2016, the former has made seven signings while the latter has made 17 – something made agonisingly clear on Sunday.

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