The consensus was that Manchester United were suffering in Paul Pogba’s absence.
Since his hamstring injury sustained against Basel on September 12, United’s roaring start to the season gradually ground to a halt. The Red Devils fared well for the rest of the month, but the loss in form of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and the dry spell of Romelu Lukaku contributed to defeats to the likes of Chelsea and Huddersfield Town.
Both of the above issues were attributed to the loss of Pogba in United’s midfield as a potent attacking threat. On the evidence of his contribution in today’s 4-1 win over Newcastle, the above fear was proven correct.
Despite going one-nil down early on to a Dwight Gayle goal, United rallied at Old Trafford.
Anthony Martial’s equaliser just minutes before half time was set up by the returning Frenchman, who sent in a fine cross to the back post.
With Chris Smalling scoring on the stroke of half time, United were in control. Pogba helped make sure of the points on 54 minutes, as a great move involving a Lukaku run and cross, saw Marcus Rashford coolly head the ball across goal, with Pogba getting to it long before Tim Elliot could reach.