Paul Pogba enjoyed a “magic” evening against brother Florentin, but the frivolity around the St Etienne encounter bemused Manchester United great Roy Keane.
Build-up to the Old Trafford encounter was dominated by chatter about the siblings’ first competitive meeting on a stage far grander than the artificial pitches they grew up playing on in the Parisian suburb of Roissy-en-Brie.
The whole Pogba family were in tow for an occasion Florentin marked by having both his and Paul’s numbers shaved into his hair.
It was younger brother Paul that took the bragging rights on Thursday as United emerged 3-0 victors from the Europa League last-32 first leg.
“It was something magic playing against my brother,” the world’s most expensive player said.
“I just couldn’t believe it when I saw him. We just started laughing and said let’s enjoy the moment because it doesn’t happen every day. I enjoyed it a lot.”
It could have been even better had Paul Pogba not sent a header rattling off the goal-frame before Zlatan Ibrahimovic completed a show-stealing hat-trick.
“I wanted to score but I hit the crossbar,” the United midfielder said.
“I don’t know what is going on here but something is going wrong for me. So far I have been hitting the cross bar a lot.
— Paul Pogba (@paulpogba) February 16, 2017
“In seven or eight months at United I think I have hit the cross bar more times than I did in four years at Juventus. It is a bit weird but I am still happy.”
Keane thought the whole occasion was a bit weird in relation to the Pogbas.
The former midfielder praised Paul’s display but joked it was “almost like a testimonial”, with the brothers walking off together at half-time chatting.
Asked if seeing that had bothered him, Keane told ITV: “Yeah, it does.
“Listen, the boy, Pogba, he’s a bit of a free spirit, a bit of a character.
“But I think it was a little bit over the top tonight – before the game and at half-time.
“They’ve spoke more tonight than I have to any of my brothers in the last five years, so it’s all a bit strange.
“I think when the game started they were focused on the game.
“But all this stuff before and after the game, a lot of nonsense – but that’s the modern player, I’m afraid.”