Paul Pogba has pointed the finger at Granada players, saying they tried to get him red carded after Thursday’s 2-0 Europa League quarter-final victory at Old Trafford.
The midfielder played just 45 minutes after being booked in the 17th minute and afterwards complained United’s opponents were deliberately trying to get him sent off. Pogba was removed from the action at half-time by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after the France star committed another foul soon after his first yellow card.
A number of Granada players were seen protesting with the referee and with United already 1-0 up on the night, Solskjaer decided to remove Pogba from the action.
Donny van de Beek replaced him as United went on to win 2-0 and 4-0 on aggregate. They will have Pogba available for the semi-finals against Roma.
“Some tackles, a yellow card. I had to come off obviously,” Pogba told BT Sport.
“So this yellow card was unfortunate. For me it wasn’t a yellow card and I’m sure for a lot of people. But you’ve got to accept it. I think it was a foul against me, but we won that is the most important thing.”
When asked if he thought the Granada players might try to get him sent off, he added: “For sure. I know the foul just after it I saw all the players were trying to get me out. That is when the manager saw it as well that it is better if I come off before I get the red card and I could put my team in difficulties.”
Solskjaer did not want to risk Pogba red
Solskajer agreed, saying that he didn’t want to put Pogba at risk of a red card.
“Sometimes Paul wants to win so much, he went into a couple of tackles after his yellow card but I thought I don’t want to risk that [being sent off] even though he played so well,” said the Norwegian.
“We missed three today [Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw and Scott McTominay through suspension].
“The season has been hard enough as it is.”