'Einsteins' wrong about Pogba: Jose

Manchester United's Paul Pogba (right) scoring his second goal against Turkish side Fenerbahce in the Europa League on Thursday. The match ended 4-1 and moved the Red Devils to the top of Group A.
Manchester United's Paul Pogba (right) scoring his second goal against Turkish side Fenerbahce in the Europa League on Thursday. The match ended 4-1 and moved the Red Devils to the top of Group A.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Jose Mourinho rounded on the "Einsteins" who rated Paul Pogba as the poorest player in the Premier League, after the Frenchman scored twice in Manchester United's 4-1 win over Fenerbahce in a Europa League match at Old Trafford on Thursday.

Pogba scored a 31st-minute penalty and a superb long-range effort just before half-time. A second spot kick from Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard's 25-metre shot completed United's scoring before Robin van Persie registered a late consolation.

The result put Mourinho's team top of Group A with six points, the same as Feyenoord.

Pogba was disappointing in Monday's 0-0 draw at Liverpool and drew criticism but his manager hit back.

"First of all, in some of your mouths, he goes from the worst player in the Premier League to being phenomenal in 48 hours," Mourinho said.

"I am not specifically saying it is you. I say media, especially the Einsteins.

"We know he is a very good player and he needs some time to show his potential. He's spent four, five years in Italy and I know Italian football very well. I know teams play completely different from the Premier League.

"I am not saying we are better but we are different. Different in the intensity, the number of touches on the ball, everything is different and he needs time to adapt."

Pogba revealed after the match that Wayne Rooney had allowed him to take the penalty.

Mourinho expressed little concern over the issue, even though United fans were chanting "Rooney, Rooney" for the captain to take the spot kick.

"The decision is not a problem for me. I always give freedom for the guys to make the decision on the pitch," he said.

Despite the display and margin of victory, Mourinho claimed a side who showed seven changes from Anfield might not have affected his selection for tomorrow's trip to Chelsea.

"I chose this team because I felt it was the team to win it and because I felt after such an intense game on Monday that some of these players would be in better condition to perform than others," he said.

Defeat saw Fenerbahce slip from first to third place in Group A, two points below United and Feyenoord ahead of next month's return fixture in Istanbul against Mourinho's men.

THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 22, 2016, with the headline ''Einsteins' wrong about Pogba: Jose'. Print Edition | Subscribe