Champions League: Jose Mourinho unsure of Paul Pogba's availability for Sevilla clash

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His first goal in particular didn't resemble a player short on confidence and without a goal in the league since early December.

Their European pedigree is highlighted by winning the Uefa Cup in 2006 and 2007, and the competition rebranded as the Europa League three years on the trot between 2014 and 2016. Sure, injury has hobbled him over the winter, but he's still produced nothing like the consistent quality he was doing at the start of the season.

The exception is Paul Pogba, whose tactical discipline to toe the line in Mourinho's system has been an issue.

Without an away goal advantage, Manchester United have to outscore the Spanish side in order to seal progression and their recent form puts them as firm favourites in what is expected to be a close contest, in any case. There didn't seem to be any obvious abuse of the manager's blue-eyed boy, who also had a good game, though composure was not a common emotion among home fans during the last few minutes as Liverpool pushed for an equaliser.

Rashford was phenomenal at Old Trafford.


Sevilla made it out of Group E in second place, finishing behind a Liverpool side that went unbeaten.

Moreover, United could also beat City, Chelsea and Liverpool in the Champions League, though they have to get past Sevilla first. Many others could feel equally pleased: Ashley Young contained Salah, Eric Bailly is back, brilliant and even managed to score past David De Gea. But from my experiences I understand that's part of the game.

Mata could easily have made it three before the turnaround as he harpooned a volley a yard or so wide with Liverpool again ball-watching.

Marcus Rashford's supposed lack of playing time has concerned those bizarrely preoccupied with England's World Cup squad. They have every reason to expect to join Manchester City and Liverpool in the quarterfinals.

"(Pogba) did (train) after you left", Mourinho said.


However, you get the feeling that something really has to change in the Pogba-Mourinho saga sooner, rather than later.

Which is unfortunate in the extreme, but he ended the afternoon all out of excuses as basic defending proved too much for him.

Phil Jones is also still unavailable and Mourinho says the centre-back won't be ready for action before the worldwide break so it looks like he'll miss the upcoming England friendlies. But Mourinho is not like that. A comment which did the Portuguese coach a disservice.

But as far as the season is concerned, there is still a lot of work left for Mourinho to do, if he is to take United to "where they belong", something which he emphatically promised when he replaced Louis Van Gaal at helm. Quite simply, he is going through the same ups and downs that the likes of Ryan Giggs, Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney endured before him at United.

The Anfield club host Watford on Merseyside on Saturday, before then facing Crystal Palace away two weeks later due to the global break.


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