Worth the wait? Unstoppable Pogba finally proving his Man Utd doubters wrong

Pogba Solskjaer Cavani Manchester United GFXGetty/Goal

Another away game against a relegation-threatened side, another superb strike from Paul Pogba to secure victory for Manchester United.

Just as at Burnley a week or so ago, here at Fulham the France international produced another moment of magic to retain United's two-point lead at the top of the Premier League table.

Not since Pogba was tearing up Serie A in a Juventus shirt back in 2015 has he scored a strike from outside the area with his weaker left foot, but such is the confidence he is playing with now, he is willing to try almost anything when in shooting range.

It has been a long time coming, but the 27-year-old is finally showing the kind of form that made United want to bring him back to Old Trafford for a world record-breaking £90 million in the summer of 2016.

Many times over the past four-and-a-half years that price tag has been brought into question, but in his current form few will be complaining about how much Pogba cost after his performances over the last month.

In fact, his displays are only helping ensure that United will recoup that fee and more if they do indeed sell the midfielder his summer.

The only black mark on a perfect report sheet over the past few weeks for Pogba was the chance his missed late on against Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday. Had he beaten Alisson Becker, he would now have scored three winning goals on the road in the space of eight days.

Bruno Fernandes has been marked out as United's sole match-winner for much of the past 12 months, but Pogba is finally stepping up to take some of the weight of the Portuguese's shoulders.

He plays with an air of arrogance, but that has been earned. There is no doubt that he is the best footballer on the field in the majority of Premier League matches he appears in, and even difficult tasks are made to look easy.

Paul Pogba Manchester United 2020-21Getty Images

Here his decisive moment came when plucking a ball out of the air amid swirling winds, with his touch simultaneously taking two Fulham defenders out of the game before he curled a 25-yard drive past Alphonse Areola.

"I hit the ball well. I didn't expect it with the left foot like this but if you don't try, then you don't score," he told BT Sport post-match. "It was a beautiful goal and beautiful win. It wasn't my favourite goal ever, but it was still beautiful.

"I was really mad after the Liverpool game for not scoring the chance. I maybe should've done better but today it went in. Most important was the win today. We did it the hard way and did it the beautiful way."

In this kind of form he is a joy to watch, and it is a shame supporters have not been inside stadiums for his best run of games in a United shirt.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had experimented by playing Pogba alongside Fred at the base of United’s midfield at Craven Cottage, marking the first time the pair have started together in that formation in the league this season.

But despite his deep-lying position, the World Cup-winner still recorded the most passes among United players in the opposition half. He hs proven that he retains the ability to dictate play wherever he is deployed, meaning Solskjaer will be able to further tinker with his line-up amid the hectic upcoming fixture schedule.

Pogba is not afraid to do the dirty work for his team either, something which he has been criticised for in the past. He was tracking back here and made four tackles, the most of anyone in the team, while he also topped the table for most interceptions and gained possession the most times too.

"He does everything,"Solskjaer told reporters. "We know he can do everything more or less that’s asked of a midfielder, and now he’s putting it all together which is great to see."

Pogba's goal secured yet another come-from-behind win on the road for Solskjaer's side, who fell behind in the fifth minute to an Ademola Lookman finish after the Red Devils' defence switched off.

But, just as they have done on multiple occasions this season, United stood up after going behind, with Fernandes able to start finding space ahead of Pogba and Fred before he helped provide Edinson Cavani with an equaliser from close range.

Edinson Cavani Paul Pogba Manchester United 2020-21Getty Images

Solskjaer brought Cavani in as much for his experience in the dressing room as he did for his finishing ability, but the Uruguay forward is proving his worth on both counts. 

He and Pogba are two of a small number of players in the United dressing room to have won league titles previously, and right now they are standing up to keep Solskjaer's side at the head of the race.

United are unbeaten in 17 away league games, and have not lost on the road in the Premier League for over a year. The last time they managed such a run was back in the 1998-99 treble-winning campaign when they had players who were undoubtedly the best in their position when compared with what the rest of the league had to offer.

Right now, Pogba might be able to make that claim about himself.

It has taken almost five years, but the second coming of Paul Pogba at Manchester United is alive and kicking. If it leads to a title-winning campaign, it will have been worth the wait.

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Who should be Man Utd's No.9 next season?

  • 43%Harry Kane
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  • 7%Randal Kolo Muani
  • 9%Wout Weghorst
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