Tue. Oct 20th, 2020

Edinson Cavani pictured in Man United training ahead of PSG/Solskjaer explains Pogba benching vs Newcastle

5 min read

‘Hip and back problems’

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has provided an explanation for his decision not to utilise Paul Pogba from the off in Manchester United’s meeting with Newcastle on Saturday.

The Red Devils of course made the trip to St. James’ Park 24 hours ago, for their latest Premier League outing.

United no doubt headed into proceedings desperate for a bounce-back result, having seen a difficult opening to the campaign culminate in a 6-1 drubbing at the hands of Tottenham prior to the international break.

And, when all was said and done on Tyneside, bounce back was precisely what the Reds managed.

After Luke Shaw put through his own net inside the opening 3 minutes, a rough evening looked in store for Solskjaer’s men.

However, Harry Maguire went on to level things up midway through the first-half, before a late flurry on the part of the visitors saw all of Bruno Fernandes, Aaron Wan-Bisska and Marcus Rashford seal a comprehensive victory for United.

One talking point in the aftermath of the Manchester giants’ trip to St. James’, despite the result, though, surrounded Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s midfield selection.

Paul Pogba was left on the bench from the off versus the Magpies, a somewhat surprising decision considering how badly the visitors required a morale-boosting win.

As such, speaking during a post-match press conference, the United boss was inevitably questioned on Pogba’s omission.

Solskjaer, though, assured that it came as little more than a precaution, with the Frenchman having returned from international duty nursing a pair of minor fitness problems:

‘Paul had hip and back problems when he was away with France, so it wasn’t right to start him.’

‘We have got big games coming up. Everyone has to perform when they come on. I am delighted for him.’

LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 19: Paul Pogba of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on June 19, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

Cavani to face PSG?

Elsewhere on the Manchester United front, footage of one of the club’s latest signings in training with his new teammates has surfaced online this evening.

Edinson Cavani was of course one of four deadline day arrivals at Old Trafford earlier this month, alongside Alex Telles, Amad Diallo and Facundo Pellistri.

The veteran hitman, though, had since been unable to take to the pitch, or even train for that matter, as per the UK’s current self-isolation guidelines.

As such, it no doubt came as a major boost for the Red Devils that Cavani was finally granted permission to join up with the rest of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad on Sunday.

The Uruguayan could therefore be in contention to feature for his new club (against his former) in two days’ time, when United visit the French capital for their Champions League group stage opener versus PSG.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Everton FC 5 7 13
2 Liverpool FC 5 0 10
3 Aston Villa FC 3 9 9
4 Leicester City FC 4 5 9
5 Arsenal FC 5 2 9
6 Chelsea FC 5 4 8
7 Tottenham Hotspur FC 4 7 7
8 Leeds United 4 1 7
9 Manchester City FC 4 0 7
10 Southampton FC 5 -1 7
11 Newcastle United FC 5 -2 7
12 Crystal Palace FC 5 -2 7
13 West Ham United FC 4 4 6
14 Manchester United FC 4 -3 6
15 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 4 -3 6
16 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 5 -2 4
17 Sheffield United FC 5 -5 1
18 West Bromwich Albion 4 -8 1
19 Fulham FC 5 -8 1
20 Burnley FC 3 -5 0
Player Team Goals
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 7
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 7
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 6
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 5
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 5
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 4
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion FC 4
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 4
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 4
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 4
Rodriguez, James Everton FC 3
Grealish, Jack Aston Villa FC 3
Jorginho Chelsea FC 3
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 3
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 3
Lacazette, Alexandre Arsenal FC 3
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 3
Bowen, Jarrod West Ham United FC 3
Rashford, Marcus Manchester United FC 2
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City FC 2

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