Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has claimed he doesn’t know how to tackle after he conceded a penalty in his side’s 6-2 win over Roma in the Europa League.
The French midfielder was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area after sliding to intercept Rick Karsdorp’s cross and turning his back on the ball before it bounced up onto his arm.
Referee Carlos del Cerro Grande took some time to deliberate the handball with the nearest linesman, though after a brief discussion he decided to stick with his original decision to award a penalty.
The awarding of the spot kick looked particularly harsh given Pogba wasn’t even looking at the ball at the time it struck his arm, though it’s not the first time this season he’s been culpable of conceding a penalty, and the United midfielder quipped he simply doesn’t know how to tackle anymore.
When asked what he could do to prevent similar instances in the future, Pogba told BT Sport: “Just don’t tackle. I don’t know how to tackle. I try to be the English guy. I need to practice more. I need to practice to tackle without arms. It’s unlucky. I’ve been unlucky a lot this season with penalties.”
The resulting penalty allowed Roma the chance to level the scores at Old Trafford before Edin Dzeko handed the visitors a half-time lead.
However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men came out swinging after the interval and five second half goals – including one from Pogba – look to have pretty much assured them of a place in the Europa League final.
Pogba refused to be carried away by his side’s four-goal lead ahead of the second leg next Thursday, though he was pleased with his side’s reaction to going a goal behind on the night.
“The result is positive, but it’s not finished, there’s still one more leg to go through so we’re going to have to stay focused and play with the same mentality,” he added.
“In the first half we made two mistakes and we conceded two goals and after we conceded the second goal we were a bit all over the place, but after half-time we said let’s do the right things and do the simple things.”