Man United's Paul Pogba embracing role as an 'outsider'

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Man United midfielder Paul Pogba

Paul Pogba loved his winning return to former club Juventus and believes Manchester United will continue to flourish in the role of “outsider”.

Jose Mourinho’s men looked on course for defeat in Turin after former United favourite Cristiano Ronaldo struck a stunning volley for the hosts.

But the Red Devils, so often under the spotlight this season for the wrong reasons, rallied remarkably and secured a 2-1 comeback win in a Champions League clash that will live long in the memory.

Next up is Sunday’s derby clash at swashbuckling Manchester City and Pogba hopes United can upset the odds once again.

“It was great,” the France midfielder said.

“We know that (Juventus) is a big team and, to be honest, when they scored a goal, we had nothing to lose. We carried on, we pushed and we know that we can be dangerous on free-kicks because they defend very well (in open play).

“We played with that and we scored two goals like this.”

Asked if this was a turning point for United, who have faced a huge amount of criticism so far this season, Pogba told Viasport: “I think it’s always good to be the outsider, so people expect bad of us and then we surprise people. That’s it.

“The most important (thing) is the three points.”

It was an amazing end to a “lovely” night for Pogba, who was given a warm welcome back at a club he helped dominate Italian football between 2012 and 2016.

He said: “It made me feel at home as well, even if I play for Manchester United, they were very welcoming and I really appreciate that.

“The love that they showed me today was unbelievable and how great is football when you see that? When you play in this atmosphere, when you have those fans, it’s just lovely.”

Provided by Press Association Sport 

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Alexis Sanchez quietly effective despite missing out on Man United late show

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Alexis Sanchez is far down the list of Manchester United‘s heroes on a famous, if fortunate night in Turin. The Chilean was off the pitch when Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini helped change the game in his side’s favour – but there were nonetheless a few shoots of promise from his performance.

Deployed as a central striker in the absence of Romelu Lukaku – whether it’s through injury or a loss of form – Sanchez led the charge at Allianz Stadium.

Here’s a closer look at how he got on …

STATISTICS

Goals – 0

Assists – 0

Shots – 1

Shots on target – 0

Touches – 31

Passes – 21

Pass accuracy – 90.5%

Dribbles – 1

Fouled – 2

GOT RIGHT

Sharp runs – After several months of Lukaku doing his best impression of a statue, it has been refreshing to witness some movement from the tip of United’s spear. Juventus were clearly the dominant side yet the quick-twitch movement of Sanchez oh-so-nearly paid off for the visitors in the first half, as he was half a toe away from latching onto a superb Nemanja Matic ball after beating the Juventus line.

Passing in final third – There was one delicious combination with Paul Pogba in the second half that has been lacking from Sanchez’s repertoire ever since he made the move north from London. No real chance came from it, but his cunning flicks and prescient passing radar deep in opposition territory is exactly what United need if they are to dine at the top table again. The trouble was that, even though Sanchez had no trouble retaining the ball, apart from a flash of Pogba here or there was no one to riff off.

GOT WRONG

Set-pieces – As good as he was when the ball was pinging about near the area, Sanchez failed to inject any life into dead-ball situations. One free-kick in a promising position found a Juventus stomach, and he nearly went from corner flag to corner flag with a satellite-finder in the second half. Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci usually gobble up set-pieces for fun – but with chances at a premium, he should at least have made them work. Just look what happened after he came off.

VERDICT

Very few people are going to be beating the drum for Sanchez off the back of this display, but on closer inspection he was quietly effective and gave United a dynamic in attack that they have been sorely lacking.

The 29-year-old has looked bereft when stationed on a flank, often scooting into the running lanes of his team-mates. But with a little more space to operate laterally, and drop off or make an arcing run when required, Sanchez is in a position to showcase his intelligence when played through the middle.

It’ll be interesting to see how long Lukaku is out – but Sanchez still needs a marquee performance to give the big Belgian something to worry about.

RATING: 6.5/10

All statistics are compiled using whoscored.com

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FA appeals decision to clear Man United manager Jose Mourinho of using foul language

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Solskjaer's positive attitude is in stark contrast to Mourinho's negativity.

The Football Association is appealing against the decision by an independent regulatory commission to clear Jose Mourinho of using foul language at the end of Manchester United‘s Premier League match against Newcastle.

Last month United rallied to secure a 3-2 comeback win against Newcastle at Old Trafford amid intense scrutiny over the manager’s immediate future.

A report on the eve of the game claimed the Portuguese would be sacked regardless of the outcome of that Premier League encounter, with tensions seemingly boiling over at the final whistle.

Footage showed Mourinho making comments in his mother tongue, at one point looking into a camera, as he headed down the touchline, leading to an FA charge for using abusive, insulting or improper language.

United vigorously contested it and an Independent Regulatory Commission decided against sanctioning him after a hearing on October 31 – a decision that has now been appealed by the FA.

Anthony Martial was among United's best in the comeback win over Newcastle.

Anthony Martial was among United’s best in the comeback win over Newcastle.

A statement from the governing body on Wednesday read: “Having carefully considered the written reasons of the Independent Regulatory Commission relating to the case involving Jose Mourinho, the FA can confirm it is appealing the decision.”

That move means Mourinho is again facing up to a possible touchline ban, although it is understood he will be available for Sunday’s derby clash with Manchester City.

The appeal hearing will not be until the international break, meaning that a ban could be in place for Crystal Palace’s visit on November 24.

The FA was understood to be submitting its documents to the appeal board on Wednesday, while United will get a chance to see that submission before both parties settle on a date for the hearing.

The written reasons show that the FA instructed Pedro Xavier, an expert in the translation and interpretation of lip reading of colloquial Portuguese language, to provide his opinion on Mourinho’s touchline utterances.

Xavier stated Mourinho used the phrase “vos sois uns filhos da puta” twice, which literally translate as “sons of a w****”.

Mourinho used Simao Valente, an assistant professor at the University of Lisbon and expert in the Portuguese language.

Valente interpreted the repeated phrase as “vao levar no cu, filhos da puta”, which he translated to mean “go take it in the a***, sons of the w****” in the literal sense, and “f*** off you sons of b******” or “f*** off you a*******” as an idiomatic translation.

Valente considered the idiomatic translation was not entirely adequate or accurate as the context of United’s difficult match was needed along with their difficult start to the season and “significant criticism in the media”.

Valente said that “the victory was vindication” and he did not consider the words used in the context to be abusive, insulting or improper.

Mourinho accepted the words ascribed to him by the FA’s expert witness, but claimed they were an “inwardly-directed expression of relief, happiness and determination”.

Mourinho has come under fire after United's shaky start.

Mourinho has come under fire after United’s shaky start.

It was argued that they were inaudible and comprehensive only to “a person possessed of sufficient lip-reading skills and a deep expertise in Portuguese colloquialisms”.

Mourinho asked whether anybody had been insulted, abused and/or offended, as well as contending that the charge was out of step with the FA’s longstanding approach to swearing, citing several high-profile examples that did not lead to a charge.

It led the commission to rule: “We find that JM (Jose Mourinho) was celebrating victory without aiming the words at anyone in particular.

“His words were inaudible. We do not accept that he shouted the expression, as stated by Mr Xavier in his report.

“JM repeats the words, first looking away and then the second time we do accept that he is seen briefly glancing towards the lens of the broadcaster’s camera. The words mouthed were a Portuguese colloquial profanity.

“Thus, the objective person would have had to lip read JM’s mouth and interpret Portuguese colloquialisms to accurately decipher the comments.”

The commission continued: “We do not consider JM’s language constituted abusive or insulting or improper act so that it was in breach of FA Rule E3, therefore on the balance of probabilities the charge is unanimously not proved.

“Consequently, it was superfluous to go on to consider the remaining issue of legitimate expectation.”

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