After a fairly elaborate international break, with some players finally getting their wishes granted to leave the club on loan, it seemed a good time for Paul Pogba to return to the starting line-up after an injury laden 2 months.
Against a championship side in the FA Cup, with the exciting front five of Ronaldo, Rashford, Sancho, Bruno and Pogba, there was no shortage of creativity. To top it, we put out our two best attacking full-backs and when in form, the two best centre-backs.
Minutes into the game, Sancho managed to hit the cross-bar! I was rubbing my hands in excitement. With Pogba in the middle of the park, he was in great control on his return to the first team and pulling the strings. Bruno with plenty of time and space managed to not only create, but also find himself in numerous scoring opportunities.
There was assuredness in defense, and calmness in attack. The ‘borough keeper had to do a worldie to keep United only at 1 goal up in a half which we dominated to the kill.
The passing and coordination amongst the players showed slight improvement but Pogba’s class was evident in his 80 min stint. This never should have gone to extra-time. Penalty shoot-out, no way. And yet, we seem to find the easy way out of cups this season. With that out of the way, I am confident United will secure top 4. It is only a matter of time before we get kicked out of the Champions League. The earlier we finalize the next manager, the better.