Paul Pogba says he “told” Wayne Rooney he wanted to take the first penalty against Fenerbahce last night.
The France midfielder paid “big respect” to the Manchester United skipper for letting him take the 31st-minute penalty in United’s 4-1 Europa League win over the Turkish side.
Pogba scored from the spot before United won a second spot-kick which Rooney allowed Anthony Martial to put away a second one just three minutes later.
In an interview with BT Sport, Des Kelly asked the club’s record-signing whether he had a conversation with Rooney before scoring the penalty.
— BT Sport Football (@btsportfootball) October 20, 2016
“I told him (Rooney) I wanted to take it and he let me take it. I am very happy to score that penalty.
“For a player like him, Wayne Rooney, the captain, just to let me take the penalty, it’s a big respect, so I’m very glad for that,” said Pogba.
Pogba, who has now scored four times for United since his £89million move from Juventus, was substituted on 75 minutes in Thursday’s Group A clash.
Former United striker Michael Owen was disappointed to see Rooney, who made his first start since the EFL Cup win over Northampton last month, pass up his penalty responsibilities.
“It grates with me,” said Owen on BT Sport.
“He still should have taken the penalty. He’s the centre-forward. Twelve years ago playing against Fenerbahce in his first game for United Wayne ripped the ball off Ryan Giggs.
“Wayne is struggling for confidence,” added Owen.
“If he’d scored two pens tonight he’d be be ahead of Ruud van Nistelrooy in the European goal-scoring charts and one behind Sir Bobby Charlton in the the all-time United goal-scorers’ list.
“He has to want to score. When he was younger he was nasty. He wanted to score. He was desperate.
“He gets a penalty. He should be all over it.”