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Paul Pogba says he gave away penalty to Arsenal because he was “out of breath”

Paul Pogba

Paul Pogba believes he gave away the penalty against Arsenal because he was out of breath.

Manchester United suffered a 1-0 defeat to Arsenal on Sunday evening, with the penalty conceded by Paul Pogba proving the deciding moment of the game at Old Trafford.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the spot-kick with just 20 minutes remaining, meaning the Gunners returned to North London with all three points.

With much focus on Pogba’s sloppy foul on Hector Bellerin for the penalty, the French midfielder has accepted responsibility and given a potential explanation for the incident.

“We know it’s a poor performance,” Pogba told the BBC. “Myself, I cannot give a foul away like this.

Paul Pogba

“I thought I would touch the ball but I didn’t. (I) cost us the goal today with the penalty.

“Like I say, details. We have to do better, the team, myself, it starts with me. I felt like I touched him a bit, I knew I was in the box, I shouldn’t have given a penalty away like that.

“Maybe I was a bit out of breath, it made me do this stupid mistake. I will learn from that, I’m not the best defensively in the box, I can work on that.”

Former United captain Roy Keane was critical of Pogba before the match and the Irishman ripped into the Red Devils after the home defeat.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had his say on the penalty incident in his post-match interview and insisted that a player of Pogba’s calibre shouldn’t be making mistakes like the one he made against Mikel Arteta’s side.

“Paul knows if he stays on his feet and he shuffles the boy… because he was on his way out of the box, it’s a soft pen to give away,” Solskjaer said. “Those things happen.

Paul Pogba

“I know he touched him enough to give away a pen and that went against us. Paul held his hand up and he knows he could and should have done better in that instance.

“That was the difference between the teams today. It always looked like a 0-0 to me.”

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