Manchester United ensured progression to the semi-finals of the Europa League in smooth fashion on Thursday. The Red Devils won their home-leg against Granada 2-0, courtesy of an early goal from Edinson Cavani and a late folly from Jesus Vallejo leading to an own-goal.
Building on the seemingly unassailable away lead of 2-0, the 4-0 aggregate score was smooth sailing for the English side who clearly have their eyes on the silverware.
However, the Spanish outfit did put up a fight and even when it was clear that progression was a tough call, they sought to hurt United regardless.
Paul Pogba, who deftly assisted Cavani’s opener, picked up a yellow card in the first-half. As the minutes ticked by the Frenchman got into a confrontation with the La Liga side, which the opposing players capitalized on, asking for the attacking midfielder to be sent off.
As a precautionary measure, Pogba was subbed off during the half-time by Ole Gunnar Solskjær and the player addressed the incident after the game, stating (via BT Sport): “Some tackles, a yellow card. I had to come off obviously. The yellow card was unfortunate. It wasn’t a yellow card for me but you have to accept it. We won the game, that’s the most important thing.”
There was clear intent in the words of the 28-year-old, who went on to add: “I know the foul just after it, I saw all the players trying to get me out. [Solskjaer thought] it’s better I come off before the red card.”
Solskjær also addressed the incident separately, highlighting that Pogba was likely to pick up a suspension in a passion to win. Given that the club needs the former Juventus star who has picked up a great form for the upcoming semi-finals against Roma, this is certainly a wise choice.
All said and done, it will be of some intrigue to see whether or not he will remain at Old Trafford come summer though.