Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho was content with Paul Pogba’s contribution in the 0-0 draw at Sevilla after the Frenchman was dropped for Wednesday’s Champions League clash.
Pogba, whose relationship with the Portuguese has been a hot topic in recent weeks, came off the bench to replace the injured Ander Herrera after just 17 minutes at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
While Mourinho is tired of questions surrounding Pogba, he was pleased with the 24-year-old’s display in a hard-fought first-leg draw.
“In my pre-match interview, I had three questions about Paul and he wasn’t playing. That’s a bit strange,” he said after the last-16 clash.
“And I think, respecting you and your work, I understand your question, but if I was one of you I would ask if the Manchester United manager agreed that [Scott] McTominay had a fantastic performance.
“He looked like a senior player, he looked like a player with great maturity, tactical sense, a sense of responsibility, good in possession, good in pressing. I think he looked a man with dozens and dozens of matches in the Champions League.
“But I also answer your question, I think Paul made a big effort to try to give the team what I asked of the team. I started with Ander and Scott and I think a fantastic player like [Ever] Banega, he wasn’t [fantastic], because he didn’t have the space to be the Banega that the world of football admires and Paul replaced Ander.
59′ – @PaulPogba looks to find a team-mate. #MUFC#UCLpic.twitter.com/In9x97a0kb
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 21, 2018
“He tried to bring the same qualities, plus his security with the ball. Of course he lost a couple of possessions, but he also gave us stability because he gave us a good percentage of possession for the way we play and the match away to a good team like Sevilla.
“We had a good percentage of the ball and some control of the game, I think the three midfield players had good control and Paul was part of it.”
A fine performance from goalkeeper David de Gea helped United to their goalless draw away from home.
The second leg will be played at Old Trafford on March 13.