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Pogba fires Man City a huge warning ahead of derby despite red card



Paul Pogba is gutted to miss the Manchester derby – but insists United can still win it without him.
The France midfielder says there was no malice his challenge on Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin that earned him the red card and three-game ban that rules him out of Sunday’s eagerly-awaited showdown between the Premier League’s top two.

But he admits the tackle looked worse than it actually was because Bellerin didn’t stay on his feet in the challenge but stuck out his leg as Pogba over-stretched.

Speaking for the first time about the controversial incident following Manchester United’s Champions League win over CSKA Moscow, Pogba said: “I know Hector and I would never give him a tackle like this.

“Unfortunately for me I thoughtPaul Pogba he would put his feet [into the tackle] and he was in a position that was a disadvantage for me.

“It looks very bad but the intention wasn’t like that. The referee gave me the red card and that’s football.
“I’m very disappointed to miss the derby because when you are in football you really want to play in these games.

“I really want to help the team and wanted to be there because obviously we are playing City and in this moment we need points and we need to win. It’s an important moment, an important game so, like I say, I’m disappointed.

“Unfortunately for me I won’t play. That’s destiny. I say destiny because I cannot go back in the past. You have to think about the future, the present, obviously, and then after it’s the future.”

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Pogba’s absence will be a huge blow for Jose Mourinho’s team. Their form dipped when he missed two months with a torn hamstring earlier this season. Since he returned to the team they have won five out of six matches and scored 14 goals.

But Pogba believes United can still emerge triumphant from what is a ‘must-win’ game for them if they are to have nay hope of reeling in unbeaten City’s eight-point lead.

He added: “I have complete trust in the team. Even if I am not there, I will be there watching the game giving positive energy and hopefully we are going to win. Mentally, I need to be there to boost the team and hopefully it will help.”
Pogba says it was vital United continued their momentum heading into the derby with the 2-1 win over CSKA that secured top spot in their Champions League group.

“It was important to go through in the Champions League,” he said. “Obviously we need the positive energy for Sunday against City so it was a case of keep winning, keep feeling this. We’ve done it so we are happy.

“Can we catch them? If I don’t believe we can I stop playing football now.

“It’s a big derby and the atmosphere is going to be big. We want to win and we need to win as well. They need to win because they know that we are behind and we are closing and closing.

“Manchester City against Manchester United has always been a big, big derby. One city, two clubs. You know how it is so I won’t tell you what is going to happen.

Paul Pogba


“It’s going to be a big atmosphere in the stadium and a big game with a big team and big players so that’s the game you want to play. Unfortunately I won’t play but I will be there to help the team mentally.”
Something has to give on Sunday because United have won all 11 home games in three different competitions this season while City have won all 10 of their away matches.

Mourinho has often been criticised for a cautious approach when facing title rivals in the past but Pogba says United must attack City.

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“We need to,” he said. “To win those game you need to give everything. You need to be there offensively and defensively. Kill the game when you have one chance because they are City and they have quality as well in front and they can kill the game at any time.

“They are first for good reason because they have been doing great at the start of the season. They keep winning, they haven’t lost one game, and obviously mentally they are very strong. We need to be as good as they are mentally.”

Pogba was delighted that Romelu Lukaku ended a barren run with the first goal against CSKA – it was only the second time the Belgium striker has found the net in 13 appearances. Another positive for United was that Marcus Rashford scored for the first time in 10 appearances.

“For a striker to score a goal, it gives him positive energy as well,” said Pogba. “He [Lukaku] needed this. He deserves it because he’s been working very hard for the team. We know how important he is for us and we are going to need him for the derby.”


Manchester United players told to ignore Mourinho’s instructions




Former Arsenal defender, Martin Keown, has told Manchester United players to ignore instructions from manager Jose Mourinho and take matters into their own hands.

The Red Devils travel to Anfield on Sunday to take on title-chasing Liverpool, 16 points behind their bitter rivals.

A much-changed United side slipped to another demoralising defeat against Valencia in midweek and Keown believes Mourinho’s men are turning in the worst performances he has seen in 25 years.

“These performances are some of the worst we’ve seen from United in 25 years,” Keown told Football Focus.

“They are there for the taking – these United players almost need to stop listening to their manager now.

“If this is how they’re being told to play, the players are on their own – I don’t know the identity of this United team.

“They’re almost dreading games. Whether they change the manager is another thing but every game feels like a crisis now.

“Mourinho has an incredible job there but the ‘special one’ has become the ‘lonely one’.

“He’s almost enjoying the process of it coming to an end.”

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Barcelona issue fresh ban to Dembele




Barcelona have banned Ousmane Dembele from turning off his phone, after he once again failed to arrive on time for training, reports.

Earlier this week, Dembele begged his team-mates for forgiveness in a private dressing-room speech, after being fined £90,000 for turning up two hours late to training, reports Daily Mail.

Manager Ernesto Valverde has now instructed the French winger, to keep his phone on all the time, so that he can be contactable if another issue arises.

Valverde is said to be content with the player’s improvement off the pitch and believes he has taken positive steps towards changing his attitude.

It is believed Dembele enjoys playing video games and watching TV until the early hours of the morning, which is the main issue.

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Man City VS Everton: Jesus scores twice as Manchester City go back to top




Manchester City have returned to the top of the Premier League for another 24 hours at least, following a 3-1 win over Everton in Saturday’s early kick-off.

Pep Guardiola’s men saw their unbeaten start to the season end at Chelsea last week and Liverpool overtook them on the table.

However, the champions preserved their 100 per cent record at home against Marco Silva’s men.

Gabriel Jesus scored either sides of half time to give City a 2-0 lead, before Dominic Calvert-Lewin pulled one back.

However, Raheem Sterling climbed off the bench, to head in a third and make sure the home side got maximum points.

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