Belgium v France: Semi Final - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Mourinho: Pogba played with great maturity

News World Cup 2018

Paul Pogba “played with maturity” in France’s 1-0 win over Belgium in the World Cup semi-finals, says his Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho

A thundering header from Samuel Umtiti in the second-half was enough to enable Les Bleus to reach the final, but it was the display of Pogba in St Petersburg that had caught Mourinho’s attention.

The United midfielder was effective in the attack and defence for France and Mourinho acknowledged that he had been left impressed by what he had seen from Pogba.

“They tried to control the game which they did with a fantastic performance by Varane and a very good performance by Pogba,” Mourinho told RT, via Metro.

“Pogba was mature he played with great maturity. When he had to hold position and to keep control of the game he did.

“When Deschamps took off [Olivier] Giroud to bring on [Steven] Nzonzi then Pogba had more freedom but freedom not to do silly things. Freedom to keep the ball away from the dangerous areas. ‘To keep the ball, to assist [Antoine] Griezmann for a great chance. He was very, very mature.”

The Portuguese coach correctly predicted the outcome of the semi-final: “In the end, I think the result was 1-0 but it could be 0-0 or it could be 1-1 and we could have been waiting for extra time but since the beginning, I was smelling this,’ he said.

“I was smelling a match without many goals that was good by the emotion that involves a semi-final but it was not an especially good football match.”