Mourinho: Wait to see if Man Utd can contend

Man Utd transfer news

Man Utd transfer news

Showing few signs of rust despite only returning to training this week, the World Cup victor, wearing the captain's armband, impressed in possession and without it, leading by example and keeping his cool from the spot.

The Premier League transfer window may be over but there's still three weeks left of excitement/irritation/hopelessness across Europe.

The man who cost United a then world record £89 million (€105 million, US$116 million, RM464 million) in 2016 was routinely dropped by Mourinho last season, and had been linked with a move away from Old Trafford in recent days with Barcelona's interest reportedly piqued by his frosty relationship with the Portuguese coach. "It's a different team, obviously".

Both sides' top scorers from last season, Romelu Lukaku and Vardy, started on the bench after their World Cup exertions and were introduced for the final quarter.

Mourinho left no doubt as to how much he valued Pogba's efforts on the night, adding: "Paul was fantastic - his contribution was unbelievable".

"I know that Paul doesn't resist for 90, the same with Fred. I doubt he'll be going anywhere this season".

The French midfielder, who captained and scored in the match, said this on his social media channels: "I'll always give my best to the fans and my teammates no matter what's going on".

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"The players let me I would say lead and give me the space to speak as well, and we have the same objective", he said about his successful summer with France, before pointedly picking out manager Didier Deschamps for special mention.

Quizzed about the conversation with Sanchez by Sky Sports after the 2-1 win, Pogba said: "We don't really have one [a designated penalty taker]".

Nonetheless Mourinho was pleased with his team's display, singling out Pogba and Shaw for particular praise, and the overall spirit.

"I find this really odd", he said.

I want to play [Anthony] Martial for [Juan] Mata or Alexis but I couldn't. I was meant to come inside and I managed to get in front of him [his marker] and put it in. Right from his childhood, he thoroughly enjoyed following all the sporting events but his true calling came only when he started writing about them. The players gave everything, they gave what they had.

"Of course the performance wasn't the best, but it's better to start like this and finish well than start very well and finish bad".

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