Jose Mourinho praises 'top' Paul Pogba display for Man Utd against Newcastle
Last Updated: 19/11/17 9:46am
Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho hailed Paul Pogba's "top" comeback display and described Zlatan Ibrahimovic's return to action as "very emotional" after a 4-1 win over Newcastle.
Pogba came into the starting line-up for the match after two months out with a hamstring problem and produced an excellent performance, in which he created one goal and scored another.
The midfielder was substituted in the 70th minute, and seven minutes later striker Ibrahimovic was brought on for his first appearance since suffering knee ligament damage in April.
Mourinho said of Pogba: "He was top. It looked like he had not been out. He came back with a really great performance. He was a great influence in the game.
"He had to come out when he felt the first sign of fatigue, because we don't want to go over the limits. So he played a little bit more than an hour, and for that hour it looked like he wasn't for such a long time not playing football."
When it was then put to him that some players are irreplaceable, Mourinho agreed, and added: "He affects our football.
"We all know, myself and the fellow players, that certain players influence the levels of the team. With him we have much more creation. I am so happy.
"Now let's see the best decision for Wednesday (when United play Basel away in the Champions League) - if the best thing for him is to play again, or for him to rest, because he is a player we need to protect."
Regarding Ibrahimovic, who re-signed for United in August after his initial deal with them expired earlier in the summer, Mourinho said: "It was a very emotional scene for all of us that have stayed close to such a professional with one of the biggest injuries in football.
"I think him coming back was a joy for everyone, but for us close to him, it was more than that - it was big emotion to see the big guy coming back."
After they went 1-0 down in the 14th minute when Dwight Gayle netted, United's emphatic response saw Anthony Martial and Chris Smalling get on the scoresheet before the break and then Pogba and Romelu Lukaku - notching his first goal in eight club appearances - do so after.
Mourinho, whose side returned to second place in the league, eight points behind Manchester City, said: "The goal was like a wake-up call and the team reacted very well, very strong.
"In the second half I was seated and really enjoying the quality, and many times the beauty, of our game."
Play Super 6
Simply predict six correct scores to win the £250k jackpot. Enter your selections for free here.