Manchester United star Paul Pogba breaks his silence over Arsenal red card

Paul Pogba has broken his silence on the red card that has ruled him out of Sunday’s Manchester derby.

Pogba will miss the most eagerly-awaited game of the season after being handed a three-match ban for his straight red card in United ‘s 3-1 win at Arsenal last Saturday.

United’s record £89million signing revealed his frustration at having to sit out the derby following his dismissal for a reckless challenge on Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin.

But Pogba, 24, is convinced United can inflict a first defeat of the season on City at Old Trafford and cut their lead to five points – even without his commanding influence in midfield.

“I have complete trust in the team,” said Pogba. “Even if I’m not there, I’ll be there watching the game, giving positive energy, and hopefully we’re going to win.

Pogba stamps on Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin
(Image: Laurence Griffiths)

“It’s a big derby and the atmosphere is going to be big. We want to win, we need to win as well.

“They need to win because they know that we are behind and we are closing and closing.

“We are still eight points behind, so with an eight-point gap we cannot win the league. We are still behind.

“But if I didn’t believe that [United can catch City], I’d stop playing football now.

“I’m very disappointed because I really want to help the team and wanted to be there for this derby.


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“We’re all playing football to play those kind of games and, unfortunately for me, I won’t play. That’s destiny.

“I say ‘destiny’ because I cannot go back in the past. You have to think about the future, the present, obviously, and then after it’s the future.

“I didn’t really speak after the game – I didn’t have time – but I think Hector, I know him as well, and I would never give him a tackle like this.

“Unfortunately for me, I thought he would put his feet in and he was in a position that was a disadvantage for me, so I did it.

Pogba in action for United against CSKA
(Image: Getty Images Europe)

“It looks very bad, but the intention wasn’t like that. They had the decision, the referee, got the red card and that’s football.”

Pogba is a huge loss for United, with the midfielder getting close to his very best form again having returned from a two-month injury lay-off with a hamstring problem.

And he admitted he is disappointed not to be able to play his part in what could prove to be a defining game in the title race. “United against City has always been a big, big derby,” said Pogba.

“One city, two clubs. You know how it is, so I won’t tell you what’s going to happen.

The Frenchman will miss the next three games through suspension
(Image: PA)

“It’s going to be a big atmosphere in the stadium and a big game with a big team and big players, so that’s the game you want to play.

“Unfortunately I won’t play, but I’ll be there to help the team mentally.”

Asked if United have to attack City and take the game to them, given the size of the points gap between the two clubs, Pogba said: “We need to.

“To win those games you need to give everything. You need to be there offensively, defensively.

Pogba will miss Sunday’s Manchester derby
(Image: Laurence Griffiths)

“You need to kill the game when you have one chance, because they are City and they have quality as well in front and they can kill the game at any time.

“They’re first for good reason, because they’ve been doing great at the start of the season.

“They keep winning, they didn’t lose one game and obviously mentally they’re very strong. We need to be as good as they are, mentally.

“Mentally I need to be there to boost the team and hopefully it will help.”

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