Jose Mourinho has claimed that France’s winning goal in their 2-1 victory over Australia should have gone down as an own goal, rather than Paul Pogba’s.
Pogba’s 80th minute strike appeared to deflect off the boot of Aziz Behich before looping into the net to hand France all three points in their opening World Cup game.
According to Sky Sports News, Pogba’s Manchester United manager said: “For me, it’s not about the goal. I think it’s an own goal, but it’s the action. It’s the determination of making it happen.”
Mourinho went on to suggest that Pogba did the job expected of him as a box-to-box midfielder. “The midfield were very positional, Paul didn’t interfere a lot in the game, but then – this action is the action of a No 8,” he said.
“That’s what people used to call the box-to-box midfielders. And in this case, that was the action of an attacking part of box-to-box. It’s a pity it wasn’t a clean shot to make it a brilliant goal, but it got them the three points.”
— FOX Sports Asia (@FOXSportsAsia) June 16, 2018
Pogba endured a frustrating 2017/18 season at Manchester United, reportedly falling out with Mourinho. He was at times left out of the Portuguese manager’s side, but nevertheless made 27 Premier League appearances, scoring six goals.
United finished second in the Premier League to fierce rivals Manchester City and lost the FA Cup final to Chelsea.
Pogba’s France will be back in action on 21 June, when they face Peru in their second World Cup fixture.