The Frenchman’s latest miss proved costly on Monday night as United were held to a 1-1 draw at Wolves, with Pogba seeing his 68th-minute spot-kick saved by Rui Patricio.
Pogba only took the penalty after a discussion with team-mate Marcus Rashford, who scored from the spot for the first time in the Premier League against Chelsea last weekend and is yet to miss a spot-kick in his professional career.
Gary Neville branded the apparent confusion over who should take the penalty “embarrassing”, saying on Sky Sports: “This is a Manchester United penalty, this is not a tombola, this is not under-fives on a school field.”
Neville pointed to Rashford’s success last week and, despite his relative inexperience, the England man might have a better claim to be taking United’s spot-kicks given that Pogba ranks among the worst regular Premier League penalty takers.
After his three misses out of 10 attempts last season, Pogba now has a conversion rate of 63.6 per cent in the Premier League.
Of the 14 current players to have taken at least 10 penalties in the league, only Manchester City’s Riyah Mahrez has a worse return rate, having scored seven of the 12 (58.3 per cent) he has taken.
Everton’s Leighton Baines, now largely a back-up to Lucas Digne but in line to start against Aston Villa next weekend following an injury to the Frenchman, has the best success rate, having scored 20 of his 22 (90.9 per cent) Premier League penalties.
Crystal Palace midfielder Luka Milivojevic is just behind, having scored 19 of his 21 penalties (90.5 per cent).
Pogba is the only current United player to have taken more than 10 Premier League penalties.
Gary Neville has heaped praise on Manchester City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne after his ‘mesmerising’ show against Tottenham in the Premier League.
The defending champions were held to a 2-2 draw, with the Belgian walking away with two spectacular assists. He whipped in an inch-perfect cross for Raheem Sterling to head home for City’s first and followed it with a precise low cross to Sergio Aguero.
His performance attracted superlatives from many pundits – not least Neville, who believes the 28-year-old’s crossing is as good as a former team-mate of his at Old Trafford.
“I like watching tactical games, close games, I have never really got overawed by watching an individual but De Bruyne mesmerises me,” Neville told Sky Sports.
“He is the type of player that is so good, he is world class, and for the first hour on Saturday it was stunning.
“His positions are always good. David Beckham and Steven Gerrard are two of the best crossers I have seen on the right side in the Premier League. He matches them in terms of the quality he delivers – and that is high praise. He does things that they did just as well.”
Rui Patricio saved Pogba’s second-half spot-kick in Monday’s 1-1 draw at Wolves.
The midfielder has now missed four penalties since the start of last season after failing to convert against Burnley, Everton and Southampton.
After the miss Pogba was the subject of racial abuse on Twitter, with United issuing a statement saying they were disgusted and working to identify those responsible.
Rashford has a perfect record from 12 yards having netted in the 4-0 win over Chelsea last week, but he does not blame Pogba for wanting to take the penalty at Molineux.
“I think if you ask anyone in the team, they’ll feel confident to take the penalty. Paul wanted to take it, I took the one last week and it was no problem,” said the 21-year-old.
“But he’s scored countless penalties for us, countless penalties in his career and it’s normal for somebody to miss a penalty.
“We don’t need to make a deal of it; if we had another penalty, I’m sure he’d score.”
It wasn’t the result we wanted but plenty of positives to take from it. Fans were amazing again, thanks for the support ❤️ pic.twitter.com/qBPHlhEJAu— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) August 20, 2019
Anthony Martial’s 50th United goal opened the scoring only for Ruben Neves to curl in off the bar from outside the box to earn Wolves a draw before Pogba’s penalty miss.
United lost twice to Wolves at Molineux last season – going down 2-1 in the FA Cup and Premier League in a matter of weeks.
Solskjaer’s side were vastly improved from those defeats and after four points from their opening two games, Rashford is satisfied with their development.
“We still have things to work on but it was a decent performance,” Rashford told MUTV. “We were unlucky to come away with a point. It feels like we’ve lost the game.
“I’ve compared it to last time we were here and it’s a million miles off that performance.
“We know that we’ve improved individually and as a team. The result is disheartening but we brush ourselves down and go again.
“We see the improvement, we feel it – but 100 per cent we need to show it. That’s the most important part of it.”
Wolves have drawn their two opening Premier League games of the season and head to Turin to face Torino on Thursday in the first leg of their Europa League play-off.
Victory in the tie would take them into the group stage and captain Conor Coady is relishing the task.
“It is amazing. We wanted to finish seventh to have these nights,” he said.
“We have these games coming up. We are going to Torino and is something we are looking forward to.
“We want to play as many games as possible.”