Manchester United 3-1 Huddersfield: Paul Pogba double earns home side win
Report and highlights as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer makes it two wins from two
By Pete Hall at Old Trafford
Last Updated: 26/12/18 9:42pm
Paul Pogba scored a second-half double to earn Manchester United a 3-1 win over Huddersfield in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's first home game as interim manager.
United laboured early on but got their breakthrough in the 28th minute with Nemanja Matic stabbing home his first league goal since March to settle the nerves around Old Trafford.
Huddersfield pressed for a leveller in the second half, with Laurent Depoitre denied by a brilliant save from David de Gea, and that save proved decisive as Pogba stroked in United's second in the 64th minute, before making sure of the win 12 minutes from time from distance.
Mathias Jorgensen's 88th-minute goal was a mere consolation as Huddersfield slipped to a sixth successive defeat, while Solskjaer has now overseen back-to-back wins since taking over from Jose Mourinho.
Manchester United: De Gea (8), Shaw (7), Lindelof (7), Jones (7), Dalot (7), Matic (8), Fred (5), Pogba (8), Lingard (6), Rashford (7), Mata (6).
Subs: Herrera (7), Gomes (6), Young (6)
Huddersfield: Lossl (7), Hadergjonaj (6), Zanka (6), Schindler (5), Kongolo (6), Mbenza (5), Durm (5), Billing (5), Kachunga (6), Pritchard (7), Depoitre (6).
Subs: Quaner (6), Mounie (6), Lowe (6)
Man of the match: Paul Pogba.
With Anthony Martial missing through illness, United struggled to find any rhythm early on and could have found themselves behind in just the 12th minute, but Terence Kongolo blazed over from close range.
Huddersfield were looking comfortable at the back, with United not really putting them under a great deal of pressure before, out of nowhere, Matic converted at the far post to break the deadlock after Victor Lindelof's header had been saved.
Chants of "Ole, Ole, Ole" came booming down from the Stretford End in the direction of the jubilant United interim boss, whose mood could have been improved yet further had Diogo Dalot scored from a good position, after being brilliantly picked out by Marcus Rashford, but the young full-back side-footed wide.
There was no Anthony Martial in the squad for United, with the club revealing Martial had picked up an illness pre-match. Three changes in all, with Diogo Dalot, Juan Mata and Fred coming in for Martial, Ashley Young and Ander Herrera. Three changes for Huddersfield also from the side beaten at Southampton, with Laurent Depoitre, Elias Kachunga and Erik Durm coming in for Steve Mounie, Juninho Bacuna and Chris Lowe.
Huddersfield came out with added impetus in the second half, and came within a whisker of a leveller through Depoitre, who flicked for the top corner, but De Gea flung himself across goal before clawing the ball out.
That save proved to be a wake-up call for United, and two minutes later they doubled their lead. Rashford did well down the right, cut the ball back for Juan Mata, who burst into the middle before laying it off for Ander Herrera, who poked the ball across for Pogba to find the net from just inside the penalty area.
That goal all-but ended Huddersfield's resistance, with Pogba adding his second to make sure of the win, firing a strike in at the near post to give United some breathing space and ensure the rest of the match was time for United to enjoy themselves.
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Jorgensen's late goal after reacting quickest to Steve Mounie's knockdown ruined De Gea's hopes of a rare clean sheet, but a second win in a row for Solskjaer remained intact nonetheless.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: "That [De Gea save] was the defining moment of the game. It was one of the best saves I have ever seen. That was a big, big moment for us.
"He [Pogba] has got the attributes for scoring, and got a few assists last game. I was very pleased for him today. Paul is the same, he loves football and loves to go forward he has a big, big smile, and I have enjoyed working with him."
David Wagner: "I think the performance was very good. There was effort, determination and decent football that the guys played. I do not know if one hand is enough to count all the clear-cut chances we had.
"We were unfortunately unable to use them. We could go in front very early on, where Terence Kongolo has a clear-cut chance and another just before half-time."
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is just the fifth Manchester United manager to win both of his first two league matches in charge, after TJ Wallworth, Matt Busby, Dave Sexton and Jose Mourinho.
- Huddersfield Town have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last 15 away games against Man Utd in league competition (45 goals conceded).
- Manchester United haven't lost a home league game on Boxing Day since 1978-79 (0-3 versus Liverpool), winning 15 and drawing three since.
- Huddersfield are only the fourth team in Premier League history to lose six matches in one calendar month (Norwich April 1995, Wimbledon April 2000, Leicester April 2001).
- Man Utd's Jesse Lingard has been directly involved in six goals in his last five appearances in the Premier League (4 goals, 2 assists), assisting in consecutive games for the first time in his top-flight career.
- Man Utd midfielder Paul Pogba scored his first Premier League brace since netting twice against Man City in April at the Etihad.
Man of the match - Paul Pogba
Pogba has been involved in four goals in his last two games, and looks like a man reborn. Released from the Jose Mourinho shackles, Pogba needs no invitation to shoot, with his clinical finishing making all the difference against Huddersfield. His finish for the clinching third goal showed all his intelligence, and emphasised the wealth of ability he possesses.
Manchester United host Bournemouth next on Sunday, live on Sky Sports, while Huddersfield travel to Fulham on Saturday.