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Focus on Manchester United’s Paul Pogba
The France midfielder missed a penalty on Monday night.
Paul Pogba was once again the focal point of Manchester United’s midfield for their Premier League home match against Crystal Palace on Saturday.
United had condemned the racist abuse the Frenchman faced on social media during the week after his penalty miss at Molineux on Monday night proved costly.
Despite the disappointing result, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer named an unchanged side to face Palace, with Pogba in midfield alongside Scott McTominay and Jesse Lingard.
Here PA Sport assesses how Pogba fared at Old Trafford as United lost 2-1 to Palace in stoppage time.
Pogba was not as his crisp best on the ball as several passes were off their mark throughout the afternoon, whether he sold team-mates short with little taps or overhit long balls while trying to switch the play. Several of those passes that did find their man were high or awkward to control, and it made for an often disjointed United midfield as they struggled to create clear openings.
Pogba was rarely seen in front of goal, though he did have a couple of efforts charged down. After Pogba’s miss at Molineux, Marcus Rashford took their penalty only to miss as well, with Pogba standing well out of the way as he did. The France midfielder did take one free-kick in the first half, but sent a chipped shot over the bar.
Pogba failed to fully spark – like many of his team-mates – as United slumped to a first home defeat to Palace in the league since 1989. Though fans chanted his name throughout the first half in response to the abuse directed his way on social media this week, he could not reward them with the sort of dominant display he is capable of, and by the end was getting involved in heated arguments with his opponents.