Manchester United news: Jamie Carragher slaughters Paul Pogba's derby performance and felt sorry for Fellaini

Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva exposed United's midfield frailties in the first half

Jack Austin
Tuesday 13 September 2016 07:43
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Jamie Carragher has accused Manchester United star Paul Pogba of putting in ‘one of the most ill-disciplined performances’ he has ever seen against Manchester City in the derby.

The world’s most expensive player started in centre midfield alongside Marouane Fellaini during United’s 2-1 defeat as Pep Guardiola’s side stole an early march in the title race.

Such was Pogba’s performance that Carragher said he felt sorry for Fellaini, who he said was exposed by the Frenchman’s positioning, as David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne ran the show in the first half.

“For a central midfielder in a game of that magnitude, I think for the first 40 minutes it was one of the most ill-disciplined performances you will see,” the former Liverpool defender said on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football.

“The only way to describe it was like watching the best player in the schoolyard that runs where he wants and does what he wants.

Pogba failed to have much impact on proceedings against City

“Five minutes into a Manchester derby, when you know the centre of the pitch is so important to stopping Man City, he finds himself in a left-wing role trying to receive the ball.

“I’d never thought I’d say this, but I felt so sorry for Fellaini. He was left on his own in the centre of the pitch and there was so much space (for Manchester City).

“Pogba has cost what he has cost and he has done what he has done, he’s not a kid. He is 23. You find yourself looking at situations where Man United are leaving acres of space in the most important part of the pitch against a Pep Guardiola team.

“His job, when you are playing in a two in midfield, is to be disciplined, especially against Silva and De Bruyne. It is either he has got it wrong or Mourinho has given him licence to do what he wants and that is wrong.”

Carragher also said United must look to Pogba’s Juventus performances for ideas of how to get the best out of him, with the Sky Sports pundit saying a midfield three is the best way to make up for the Frenchman’s defensive incapabilities.

"I have criticised Pogba for his performance, but he has great talent and abilities," Carragher added.

"I wouldn't say you would ever build a team around one man, but if you've spent that much money, I think if you are picking your team, you say, 'Where are we getting the best out of him?' Then others can work around that.

"I think that's where he played for Juventus, either in a diamond, tucked in on the left, or in a 3-5-2 - like when he had Andrea Pirlo and Claudio Marchisio giving him that freedom, because defensively he is poor."

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