Paul Pogba feels that the win at Juventus shows that the team is happy to be underdogs, with the comments coming days before Sunday’s derby against Manchester City
Pogba believes his club thrives on being given the underdog tag because then “we can surprise people”, as Jose Mourinho’s side did during Wednesday night’s 2-1 win over Juventus.
The Italian champions had taken the full nine points from their opening three Group H matches, including a 1-0 victory over United at Old Trafford a fortnight ago.
And the Turin giants were installed as firm favourites to beat United again, with Mourinho also playing down his team’s chances before the meeting at the Allianz Stadium.
However, despite Cristiano Ronaldo’s 65th-minute volley, United grabbed a memorable late victory thanks to Juan Mata’s free-kick and an own goal from Alex Sandro, with Pogba’s presence near the goal contributing to the winner.
The win took United to seven points, two behind their hosts but crucially, two ahead of Valencia, with two matches left.
“I think it’s always good to be the outsider, so people expect bad of us and then we surprise people,” Pogba told Viasport. “The most important thing is the three points. It was great. We know that it’s 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 (spirit)and we scored two goals like this.”
The World Cup winner was returning to his former club and he received a warm welcome from the home support. “It was lovely,” the midfielder said.
Last English team to win in Turin? @ManUtd in 2003 – 3 wins on the trot now at Juventus.
— Stewart Gardner (@stewartgardner) November 8, 2018
“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.”
The win comes as a timely boost for United as they next face rivals Manchester City on Sunday at the Etihad Stadium.
Whatever one may think of the current situation, United have made it a habit of striking late and coming out on top despite adversity. It could be that the past few weeks of turmoil has brought manager and players closer together, or a matter of luck, but ultimately, results have been on an upswing and the Red Devils will surely be confident heading into the weekend’s derby.