Jose Mourinho says Paul Pogba has been 'phenomenal' for Man United this season
By Michael Kelleher
Last Updated: 04/12/17 3:53pm
Jose Mourinho says Paul Pogba has been "phenomenal" for Manchester United this season.
The French midfielder was influential in United's 3-1 victory over the Gunners, setting up goals for Antonio Valencia and Jesse Lingard before receiving a straight red with 16 minutes remaining for a lunge on Hector Bellerin.
United had until 1pm on Monday to appeal against the resulting three-game suspension but Mourinho would only say Pogba will start in United's final Champions League group match against CSKA Moscow at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
United have accepted the resulting three-match suspension, declining to lodge an appeal with the Premier League, meaning Pogba will sit out 10 of United's opening 18 Premier League matches, after previously missing seven with a hamstring injury.
Despite that, he has still been a big contributor to United's success with three goals and seven assists in his eight Premier League appearances, and Mourinho is delighted with the 24-year-old's form in his second season since his record-breaking transfer from Juventus.
"He is very happy to play tomorrow," Mourinho said. "It is the next match so it is the match that matters.
"Of course he is a bit tired because it was a huge match last weekend and he has just two days to recover for CSKA but he is very happy to play tomorrow and try to keep his momentum.
"Since he came back from injury he has been phenomenal."
Luke Shaw also stands a chance of being involved against CSKA after Mourinho confirmed he will be in the match-day squad.
With Sunday's derby against Manchester City looming, Mourinho could be tempted to ring the changes but he is reluctant to do with United still needing a point to be sure of winning Group A.
"I am going to make a few but not too many changes," Mourinho said. "We haven't qualified yet. We have not finished first in the group yet.
"There are other clubs also involved in the qualification and I need to keep a certain balance in the team.
"But when you speak about Luke Shaw, you are right. He is working to have an opportunity and sooner or later that opportunity will arrive because deserves it.
"Selected for tomorrow? Yes for sure. Whether he starts or is on the bench, I cannot answer."
Mourinho also explained why Zlatan Ibrahimovic was omitted from the match-day squad against Arsenal and is again likely to sit out on Tuesday.
"Zlatan is not injured. Zlatan sometimes needs very hard work on the muscular area that supports the knee that had the problem," Mourinho said.
"When the period for that hard work comes, also the fatigue comes so he cannot play for the se days.
"So we decided to do that after Watford. He will be out again for tomorrow but I believe he will be back to normal work after CSKA."
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