Pogba dazzles in Old Trafford homecoming

Manchester United's Paul Pogba (left) tackling Jordy Clasie of Southampton during the 2-0 Premier League home win at Old Trafford.
Manchester United's Paul Pogba (left) tackling Jordy Clasie of Southampton during the 2-0 Premier League home win at Old Trafford.PHOTO: REUTERS

How did £89 million (S$156.7 million) Paul Pogba do on his second Manchester United debut?

FANS' REACTION: HIT

His name drew a huge cheer and the home crowd lapped up every trick and flick he tried. They were forgiving when he had two failed attempts on goal in the second half.

POSITIONING: HIT

Pogba was allowed to charge up and down the field, which gave United's attacks more purpose and pace.

The 23-year-old also drifted to the left occasionally, allowing Anthony Martial to join Zlatan Ibrahimovic in a front two.

PASSING: HIT

He will want to forget the first two touches - where he nervously tried to trap the ball with his left foot and failed to connect. Thereafter, his passing was superb.

He kept play ticking over with precise and accurate passes to Marouane Fellaini and Juan Mata. He also found his man pretty much every time he spread the play wide with long, floating passes.

He was at his most effective chipping the ball into the box.

The best move of the evening came when he lifted the ball into the box for Mata, who in turn headed the ball on to Ibrahimovic, whose acrobatic effort failed to come off.

TACKLING: HIT

He did the dirty side of his job quite well. You can see why his France team-mates call him "pickaxe" as he breaks up play thanks to his fearless approach.

STAMINA: MISS

His neon boots carried him across the pitch as he made a determined effort to make an impression - including a long sprint and slide to stop Steven Davis shooting. But he tired as the game wore on, understandably given it was his first match since July 10.

THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 21, 2016, with the headline 'Pogba dazzles in Old Trafford homecoming'. Print Edition | Subscribe