Rio Ferdinand has showered praise on Paul Pogba following his game changing display against Manchester United on Saturday.
The Frenchman produced his finest display in a Man United shirt to date at the Ethiad, hauling his team out of their first half rut with a truly spellbinding midfield display.
He claimed two superbly taken goals within the space of 97 seconds to cancel out the deficit and ensured United’s remained on top of the hosts with some high tempo passing going forward.
And Ferdinand, a vocal presence on social media, has hailed the way Pogba turned the game in United’s favour.
“The Frenchman, whose blue hair and apparent links with a move to Manchester City had dominated the pre-match buildup, looked all at sea in the first half as the hosts raced into a 2-0 lead,” he said.
“But he came out looking like a different man in the second period, calmly slotting past Ederson after ghosting into the box before latching onto a pinpoint Alexis Sanchez cross to cancel out the deficit and crown a truly galvanising display.
“And Ferdinand took to Instagram to send the 25-year-old a long message, encouraging him to replicate that form in weeks to come.
“Lastly…… Paul Pogba was the talk before the game and he went on to make sure he was the talk after it (for the reasons he so desperately wants them to be).
“Knowing Paul, he will want to be talked about as a great player but his extravagant hairstyles and dance moves have too often overshadowed his performances.
“Flashy hair and being seen to enjoy every bit of life is just the way Paul Pogba is and that’s his choice so it must be respected. All he has to do is make sure he keeps producing performances & goals like we saw vs City and that will be the conversation with him rather than the other stuff.
“He was let free or had to play in a more advanced role due to the scoreline which allowed him to do what he does best – less defensive responsibility and allowed to attack like he learnt and did at Juve with the results we saw in the second half at City.
“That’s the pressure he puts on himself but one I’m sure he can deal with.”
You could tell that Saturday’s game was a cathartic moment for Pogba. The way he openly admitted he and his team needed to do more in the aftermath, along with expressing a preference for playing in a midfield three and hailing the influence of Michael Carrick‘s coaching advice, showed that his performance – the key factor behind ruining City’s party – had not just answered some serious questions but also allowed him to push past some mental barriers.
This season has seen talk about Pogba take precedence over what Pogba does on the pitch, but his performance against Guardiola’s team changed that. He had sent a huge statement, and was talking in the aftermath like a man who had suddenly rediscovered his zeal.