Later News Jul 23

Solskjaer understands Pogba’s handiness; Lampard issues warning to ‘arrogant’ Liverpool


On a day when Liverpool fans were giddily lapping up the sight of their team lifting the English Premier League (EPL) trophy, Manchester United fans were decrying their most expensive signing for not being brave enough to be use his face to block a shot.

 

If that isn’t the perfect illustration of the difference in levels between the two traditional rivals at the moment, then we don’t know what is.

 

WATCH: Klopp’s winning revolution at Liverpool

 

Signed for a whopping £89.3 million (S$157m) in 2016, Paul Pogba has been as divisive a figure at Manchester United as any in recent memory. Some believe the midfielder is a genius. Others, like Graeme Souness, thinks he is a waste of space.

 

And the latter group received more ammunition for their argument this morning (SGT) during Manchester United’s 1-1 draw with West Ham, as Pogba conceded a penalty which the Hammers went on to score from.

 

But it was the manner in which the penalty was conceded that really frustrated United fans, as Pogba used his hands to block a shot that was headed towards his face, and so was deemed to have handled the ball in the box.

 

While it might have been an instinctive reaction by Pogba, most United fans were not so forgiving of the Frenchman. This probably stems from the fact that the Red Devils subsequently failed to secure the three points that would have strengthened their grip on the top-four.

 

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, however, was more understanding of Pogba’s reaction.

 

“Paul held his hands up knowing he should have taken it in the mush,” said Solskjaer. “But it’s a natural reaction if that ball comes flying at you at 100mph. It wouldn’t have made a difference anyway.”

 

WATCH: Solskjaer says Pogba’s reaction is normal, praises Mason Greenwood

 

Meanwhile, Chelsea manager Frank Lampard played the role of wet blanket amid celebratory scenes at Anfield, as he warned EPL champions Liverpool not to be “too arrogant” in the aftermath of his team’s 5-3 defeat to the Reds.

 

Lampard appeared to exchange heated words with members of the Liverpool bench on several occasions during the match, and was evidently unimpressed with the behaviour of some of the Reds’ staff members.

 

He said: “There were a lot of things that were ongoing on the bench... I've got no problem with Jurgen Klopp, he's managed this team and it's fantastic.

 

“Some of the bench, it's a fine line between when you are winning -- and they've won the league, fair play to Liverpool Football Club -- but also don't get too arrogant with it.That was my thing, but [it's] done. In match play you get emotional and that was it.”

 

WATCH: Lampard says he is proud of his team despite defeat to Liverpool

 

Of course, it could also be Lampard sounding a warning to Liverpool that his Roman Abramovich-backed side is coming for Liverpool’s title.

 

And why not? After all, Chelsea are already looking like title contenders for next season, having already secured deals for highly-rated playmaker Hakim Ziyech and striker Timo Werner.

 

Could this be the start of a brand-new rivalry?

 

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