Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has criticised Paul Pogba for the penalty he gave away against Arsenal. Pogba tripped Hector Bellerin midway through the second half and referee Mike Dean had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang stepped up and ended his five-game goal drought, sending David de Gea the wrong way and leading his side to a 1-0 win.
United pushed hard towards the end but were unable to break down a stubborn Arsenal defence.
And after the game, Solskjaer said there was no need for Pogba to make the challenge he did.
“The boy is running away from goal, there is no need to go for the ball,” the Norwegian told the BBC.
“Not much of a touch, but it’s probably a penalty.”
Solskjaer added to Sky Sports: “He needs to stay on his feet. Paul knows it’s a soft penalty to give away similar to Nemanja [Matic] who almost got a penalty.”
Speaking to the BBC, Pogba accepted responsibility for his mistake.
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“Myself, I cannot give a foul away like this,” Pogba said.
“I thought I would touch the ball but I didn’t. (I) cost us the goal today with the penalty.
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“Like I say, details. We have to do better, the team, myself, it starts with me.
“I felt like I touched him a bit, I knew I was in the box, I shouldn’t have given a penalty away like that.
“Maybe I was a bit out of breath, it made me do this stupid mistake. I will learn from that, I’m not the best defensively in the box, I can work on that.”
United were unbeaten in four games in all competitions ahead of the defeat.
That run included impressive wins against Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig.
Solskjaer refused to comment on if his side were making progress.
He added: “That’s football for you. It goes up and down.
“We didn’t turn up, especially in the first half. That’s what we have to address because we know these boys can be so good.
“We knew that this was the big game this week. And unfortunately in the first half we didn’t play well enough.
“Second half we played better, we never seemed to have to defend too much. But when we did have to, we were too slow and gave away the penalty.
“It’s for other people to judge if we’re making progress. We keep on working and we have another chance on Saturday against Everton.”
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