Stuttgart had to make Weinzierl decision – Hitzlsperger

Markus Weinzierl was dismissed as Stuttgart head coach after a dire loss at Augsburg, a decision Thomas Hitzlsperger said was hard to make.

Stuttgart sporting director Thomas Hitzlsperger says the club were left with no choice other than to dismiss head coach Markus Weinzierl after the 6-0 humiliation against Augsburg.

Weinzierl was only appointed as Tayfun Korkut’s successor in October but he has overseen just four Bundesliga wins during his six-month tenure.

Saturday’s dreadful loss at Augsburg leaves Stuttgart just three points above the two automatic relegation spots in the top flight, while a play-off to avoid the drop looks inevitable.

Hitzlsperger said it was a tough decision to take but the best call had been made to try and secure Stuttgart’s future.

“We stated several times that we wanted to bring the season to a successful conclusion with Markus Weinzierl and his coaching team,” Hitzlsperger told the club’s official website.

“However, after the extremely disappointing match in Augsburg we chose to review the situation again and decided that a clear break is necessary in order to secure our Bundesliga survival.

“We didn’t take this decision lightly, but VfB’s success comes first and we have to act accordingly.”

Under-19s coach Nico Willig has taken over until the end of the season and Hitzlsperger backed him to keep the club in the Bundesliga.

“Over the last few years Nico Willig has done very good work in the VfB youth academy and immediately agreed to help out with this difficult situation,” he added.

“We believe he is capable of quickly bringing fresh impetus to the team and helping them avoid relegation.”

Crawford retains title by TKO after low blow stops Khan

Terence Crawford retained his welterweight title and remained undefeated with a sixth-round TKO after Amir Khan could not continue following a low blow.

Terence Crawford retained his welterweight world title and remained undefeated with a sixth-round TKO after Amir Khan could not continue following an accidental low blow.

The blockbuster bout in New York came to an anti-climactic end after a shot below the belt left Khan unable to carry on against the WBO holder on Saturday.

Khan (33-5) was hit early in the sixth round at Madison Square Garden, where the referee waved off the fight at the request of the Englishman.

While the crowd were left disappointed amid a chorus of boos, American star Crawford improved to 35-0 after the bout ended at the 0:47 mark.

“I could tell I was breaking him down,” Crawford said inside the ring. “It was just a matter of time. I just took my time. I was disappointed the corner stopped the fight in that manner, but Virgil [Hunter] is a great coach, and he was looking out for his fighter. I know he didn’t want to go out like that.”

Crawford – rated one of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world – was on the front foot following in the opening round, which saw the unbeaten boxer drop Khan in New York.

Khan landed a couple of jabs but Crawford suddenly caught the Brit with a counter right with a minute remaining – flooring his opponent.

Crawford almost sent former unified light-welterweight champion Khan to the canvas again before the bell rang and the 32-year-old dug deep from that point.

Khan was more defensive in the second as he struggled to find an opening, though he lunged with a lead left hook that Crawford took well.

Crawford – who switched to a southpaw stance – waited patiently for the killer blow and he made some inroads in the fourth, targeting the body as he stalked Khan.

The 31-year-old Crawford broke down Khan with more heavy hitting in the fifth and the fight came to a premature end a round later as the latter’s corner informed the referee that their boxer could no longer continue.

Muller: Bayern feeling title pressure

Bundesliga, Football, English, News, Werder Bremen, Thomas Müller, Bayern München

The pressure is on in the Bundesliga, according to Bayern Munich star Thomas Muller following Saturday’s victory over Werder Bremen.

Thomas Muller admitted Bayern Munich are feeling the pressure in the race with Borussia Dortmund for the Bundesliga title.

German champions Bayern moved four points clear atop the table thanks to Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Werder Bremen.

Niklas Sule’s 75th-minute goal settled the contest at Allianz Arena, where Bayern boosted their advantage, with rivals Dortmund not in action until Sunday.

Muller said the pressure is on in Germany as Bayern eye a seventh successive league crown.

“The pressure is there, we’re feeling it as we all desperately want to win the Bundesliga title,” Muller told bundesliga.com.

“After half-time, we had to up the pace, which we did, even though the result was still relatively close.”

Bayern – in the midst of a 10-game unbeaten streak in the Bundesliga – are top with four matches remaining.

Dortmund can move within a point of Bayern with victory at Freiburg.

Garcia beats Granados via seventh-round TKO

Danny Garcia celebrates his win

Danny Garcia was too good for Adrian Granados in California on Saturday.

Former two-division champion Danny Garcia stopped Adrian Granados with a seventh-round TKO.

After his title defeat to Shawn Porter in September, Garcia bounced back against Granados in California on Saturday.

A trio of knockdowns saw Garcia (35-2, 21 KOs) triumph in the WBC Silver welterweight championship bout at Dignity Health Sports Park.

“Like I said, when Danny Garcia is at his best, no one can beat him,” Garcia said. “I got a little comfortable in the past and didn’t give that extra mile but I put in my 110 per cent and this is what you get when you get 110 per cent of Danny Garcia, one of the best fighters in the world.”

Following his win over Granados (20-7-2, 14 KOs), Garcia was asked about a potential showdown with boxing great Manny Pacquiao.

“I hope I didn’t scare him away,” Garcia said. “Definitely, I would love [that] fight and would definitely love a rematch with Thurman and Porter or Errol Spence.”

He parks the bus right in front of De Gea – Van Gaal critical of Solskjaer again

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal had a dig at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tactics.

Louis van Gaal said Ole Gunnar Solskjaer “parks the bus right in front of David de Gea” as he criticised the Manchester United manager again.

Solskjaer signed a permanent three-year deal last month after overseeing an upturn in results at United, however, the Red Devils have struggled since.

United – sixth in the Premier League and two points adrift of the top four – have lost two of their past seven matches in all competitions following a 4-0 Champions League quarter-final exit to Barcelona.

Former United boss Van Gaal, who initially questioned Solskjaer’s approach after replacing Jose Mourinho in December, insisted the club favourite is defensive in his tactics.

“I can see how Ole had some impact in the beginning, because United were ninth in the table when he took over and the team was nothing,” Van Gaal said via the Mirror. “United had been playing anti-football, as I call it, but don’t think that Ole isn’t afraid to park the bus either — he is more defensive than you think.

“I have been watching the team, because I always look at United still, and Ole parked the bus against Arsenal. He did it against Tottenham in the league. And at stages against Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona in the Champions League.

“He plays against all the big teams like that. The emphasis is more on defending than on attacking or wanting to play dominant football. I actually call it parking the bus. Ole does it not just outside the 18-yard box. He parks the bus right in front of [goalkeeper] David de Gea.”

Van Gaal – who was sacked by United after winning the FA Cup in 2016 – added: “When United play that way, they play 4-4-2 and play counter attacking football with Marcus Rashford and Romelu Lukaku. They are gambling on the speed of those two because they are faster than their opponents when they get the space. Rashford’s pace is incredible. You don’t catch him when he breaks away.

“But if Man United want to be a dominant force in Europe again – and in England – they have to have a different playing style.

“The problem as a foreign manager is that you find out that the English football culture is different from Germany and Spain. In those countries, you work on things in training. In England, everything is done by playing matches. They get fitter or gain stamina by playing lots of matches. It is a culture you cannot change easily. I wanted to change things, but it proved very difficult.”

Allegri dismisses criticism after Scudetto success

Massimiliano Allegri (R) celebrates with Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo (L)

Massimiliano Allegri discussed his critics following Juventus’ latest Scudetto triumph.

Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri said success does not come by chance after guiding the Italian giants to an eighth successive Serie A title.

Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Fiorentina extended Juve’s domestic dominance with five rounds remaining – a streak dating back to 2011.

Allegri has claimed five successive Scudetto honours since replacing Antonio Conte in 2014, however, he has been criticised for Juve’s failure in Europe.

Juve – who have finished runners-up in the Champions League twice under Allegri amid their drought which goes back to 1996 – were eliminated by Ajax in the quarter-finals this season.

Discussing his critics, Allegri told reporters: “That’s part of the game and it has to be accepted because it could also be stimulating.

“What I say, well rather than say I think, is that first of all I grew up trying to stay close to the best. And then I never criticised somebody who achieved a result or that did important things, in business or as a manager and stuff like that.

“Everybody has their own methods. But the objective must be achieved. And therefore you cannot criticise. You can like or dislike somebody, but you cannot criticise somebody this way.

“One doesn’t win by chance, one doesn’t lead a business to make a €1billion or €500million if he is a moron. That’s what I mean. But unfortunately, in order to think stuff like that, you mustn’t be a chicken.”

Allegri continued: “Things like this are beautiful because when I arrived here, in my first year, after the first Scudetto and then the second… winning five in a row wasn’t easy, it was very hard. Some here even won eight, the club and some players.

“Today is a beautiful day, first of all because this way tomorrow [Sunday] we’ll have a happy Easter. I put aside the elimination of Tuesday, which brought us disappointment and sadness. Luckily, we’ve had this game after three days, so important that it let us close the league.”

Meanwhile, Juve vice-president Pavel Nedved added: “Managing such a long winning streak is not difficult, but practically impossible.

“We achieved something no one can repeat in football history. In Italy it is really hard to win the Serie A. We did it more times with great players and great managers hungry for victories as the Juventus mind impose. Compliments to the club because it is very hard to win all these trophies.”

NBA playoffs midday wrap: 76ers win thriller in Brooklyn; Nuggets even it up with Spurs

Joel Embiid

In the end, it was Mike Scott who hit the big shot to seal the deal for Philadelphia down the stretch.

Philadelphia is just one win away from advancing to the second round of the playoffs, and it had to overcome some serious adversity.

The 76ers topped the Nets 112-108 in Brooklyn on Saturday, securing a 3-1 lead in the series. They got the victory without Jimmy Butler, who was ejected for a scuffle with Jared Dudley in the third quarter.

In the end, it was Mike Scott who hit the big shot to seal the deal for Philadelphia down the stretch.

Joel Embiid was listed as doubtful for the game, but suited up and put on a monstrous performance. “The Process” posted 31 points, 16 rebounds, seven assists and six blocks on the night.

Brooklyn was led by Caris LeVert, who scored 25 points as a starter.

The Nets will face an uphill battle to prevent elimination in Philadelphia on Tuesday.

The Nuggets had lost 14 straight games in San Antonio, but snapped the streak with a 117-103 victory on Saturday.

Denver has tied its first-round series with the Spurs at 2-2 after a scary start and appears to be gaining confidence.

Nikola Jokic was a jack of all trades as usual, recording 29 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists for the Nuggets.

LaMarcus Aldridge scored a team-high 24 points for the Spurs.

San Antonio was clearly frustrated, as DeMar DeRozan was ejected from the contest for throwing a ball at an official after an unfavorable call.

Now the Spurs will have to take the fight back to Denver for Game 5.

The Bucks have continued to dominate the Pistons.

Milwaukee claimed a 119-103 victory over Detroit to take a 3-0 lead in their first-round playoff series.

Not even the return of Blake Griffin was enough to make things interesting for the Pistons. Griffin did post a game-high 27 points though.

Giannis Antetokounmpo didn’t post his usual numbers. The 2019 MVP candidate had 14 points and 10 rebounds on 5-of-13 shooting. But he didn’t need to do much more, as six of his teammates were double-digit scorers.

The top seed in the Eastern Conference is looking like just that so far and can end the Pistons’ season in Detroit on Monday.

Studs of the Night

Tobias Harris totaled 24 points, eight rebounds and six assists in Philadelphia’s win.

Jamal Murray scored 24 points on 8-of-14 shooting for the Nuggets.

Khris Middleton posted a team-high 20 points and nine rebounds for Milwaukee.

Duds of the Night

DeMarre Carroll was held scoreless on 0-of-6 shooting in Brooklyn’s loss.

Gary Harris scored eight points on 2-of-9 shooting in Denver’s win.

Highlights

DeMar DeRozan dropped the hammer on Denver in the fourth quarter.

Ben Simmons soared over the Nets’ best rim protector for an emphatic slam.

Donovan Mitchell went up high to finish an alley-oop on the break against Houston.

What’s Next?

Celtics at Pacers — Boston could be the first team to punch a ticket to the second round by sweeping Indiana on Sunday. The Celtics seem to be putting things together. The Pacers simply lack the star power to win at the moment.

NBA Playoffs 2019: Joel Embiid’s Warriors joke made Jimmy Butler quit press conference

Joel Embiid

The 76ers star said he hopes his team doesn’t blow its 3-1 lead to Brooklyn, like the Warriors did in the 2016 NBA Finals.

Joel Embiid was in a joking mood after his team’s 112-108 victory over the Nets in Game 4 of its first-round playoff series.

The 76ers star said he hopes his team doesn’t blow its 3-1 lead to Brooklyn, like the Warriors did in the 2016 NBA Finals.

“It was really important because you wanted to get this one and go home,” Embiid said in his postgame address.

“It feels great to be up 3-1, so we definitely don’t want to be in a situation like the Warriors two years ago.”

Embiid proceeded to burst into laughter. Jimmy Butler, who sat next to the center when he made the remark laughed as well and walked away from the stand with a smirk.

Despite being listed as doubtful due to knee soreness leading up to the contest, Embiid was dominant. He posted 31 points, 16 rebounds, seven assists and six blocks.

The 76ers have won three straight since being upset by Brooklyn in Game 1.

The 76ers have a chance to close the series out on Tuesday in the Wells Fargo Center, which could give Embiid some much needed recovery time for the second round.

Solskjaer warns of no quick-fix for Man United in transfer market

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Manchester United’s overhaul and quest back to the English summit will take time, according to manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer warned Manchester United’s rebuild is a long-term project, while insisting he will only sign players who fit the club’s DNA.

United are expected to be active in the transfer market amid links with Borussia Dortmund sensation Jadon Sancho, Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly and Real Madrid star Gareth Bale.

A number of players are also set to leave Old Trafford, with Matteo Darmian and Antonio Valencia reportedly poised to depart, while the futures of Alexis Sanchez, Ander Herrera, Juan Mata, Romelu Lukaku and Marcos Rojo are uncertain.

United manager Solskjaer – whose side are sixth in the Premier League but only two points adrift of the top four – told reporters: “We plan to be in the top four, we plan to be in the Champions League next season.

“We want players who can keep us in the Champions League and move us up the table. But we know there is not going to be a quick fix. We have to take it step by step.

“There will be new players coming in over summer but I don’t think you can expect six. I don’t think any manager you ask would be in favour of that amount of change anyway. We want to rebuild but it is going to have to be gradual, over a few windows.”

“When I came in, there was an understanding that we had to get Man United’s DNA back into the club, the team and the players,” Solskjaer continued. “We need to get a culture back. What’s the definition of culture? I’d say it’s about how we do things here.

“I have my way of doing things – but I do expect them to be done. That might mean small things like having breakfast or lunch together. But I also like my players to take ownership of their own careers and their own futures. That’s the type of player I like – and I have been impressed by many of the players we have got here. Not all of them, but a lot of them.”

Solskjaer – speaking ahead of Sunday’s trip to Everton – added: “I don’t know the reason we have signed most of the players who are here. But I do know that they were brought here because they have great quality and previous managers have seen that. But I look for different things than [Louis] Van Gaal did, than [David] Moyes did, than Jose [Mourinho] did. I fancy different types of players – that’s just the way it is in football.

“It’s not a question of whether I like this player or that player. The question I ask is if they fit into Man United and the style I want this club to play.

“These players have had Mourinho, Louis van Gaal, [Alex] Ferguson, Moyes – four of the best managers there has been in England. But now I am new and I want us to play in different way.”

Klopp a hermit amid Liverpool title hype

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp does not leave the house, shutting himself out as Liverpool fans dream of a first league title since 1990.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said he is living like a hermit as the Reds close in on a potential drought-ending Premier League title.

Klopp’s Liverpool are second and a point behind defending champions Manchester City in their pursuit of a first league crown since 1990.

Liverpool are also preparing for a blockbuster Champions League semi-final with Lionel Messi’s Barcelona.

Amid the title hype in Liverpool, Klopp revealed: “I don’t go out — apart from football.

 

“Why should I? I have enough pairs of jeans to last me for the next 20 years, so I’m alright. I don’t go to the shops. I don’t do any of that.

“I can imagine the mood in the city is pretty good but I don’t need to hear it, I don’t need to see it.

“But it’s football, and for most of my life I have been a pure football supporter, so if my team was doing this I know what I would have been like. My favourite thing would have been a situation like we have now, where it is buzzing.

“I can imagine people want to go out and celebrate, talk about it, but we are not part of that. We have to make sure it stays like this – and that’s no problem.

“I love the situation we are in, it’s really good, but of course we have to prove it every day and every game. It’s all good, but it’s not perfect, so we have to carry on working like we have been doing.”

Liverpool are in the midst of a 17-game unbeaten streak, including eight consecutive victories after their 4-1 second-leg rout of Porto in the second leg of the Champions League quarter-finals.

 

Klopp’s side travel to relegation-threatened Cardiff City on Sunday and the German added: “It seems good, but it is like being a 400m runner. You might think you are in a good place. You have run the perfect race with 100m to go – but then you don’t ­concentrate for a moment and the ­others go past you. The race is only finished when it is ­finished – and not ­before.

“But we are OK with ­injuries at the moment and we are really in a proper competition mood. If we are tired we don’t feel it. We want to be playing and winning, not sitting at home and hoping the others lose. That’s exactly how you should be feeling as a professional sportsman.”

NBA playoffs midday wrap: 76ers win thriller in Brooklyn; Nuggets even it up with Spurs

Damian Lillard

In the end, it was Mike Scott who hit the big shot to seal the deal for Philadelphia down the stretch.

Philadelphia is just one win away from advancing to the second round of the playoffs, and it had to overcome some serious adversity.

The 76ers topped the Nets 112-108 in Brooklyn on Saturday, securing a 3-1 lead in the series. They got the victory without Jimmy Butler, who was ejected for a scuffle with Jared Dudley in the third quarter.

In the end, it was Mike Scott who hit the big shot to seal the deal for Philadelphia down the stretch.

Joel Embiid was listed as doubtful for the game, but suited up and put on a monstrous performance. “The Process” posted 31 points, 16 rebounds, seven assists and six blocks on the night.

Brooklyn was led by Caris LeVert, who scored 25 points as a starter.

The Nets will face an uphill battle to prevent elimination in Philadelphia on Tuesday.

The Nuggets had lost 14 straight games in San Antonio, but snapped the streak with a 117-103 victory on Saturday.

Denver has tied its first-round series with the Spurs at 2-2 after a scary start and appears to be gaining confidence.

Nikola Jokic was a jack of all trades as usual, recording 29 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists for the Nuggets.

LaMarcus Aldridge scored a team-high 24 points for the Spurs.

San Antonio was clearly frustrated, as DeMar DeRozan was ejected from the contest for throwing a ball at an official after an unfavorable call.

Now the Spurs will have to take the fight back to Denver for Game 5.

Studs of the Night

Tobias Harris totaled 24 points, eight rebounds and six assists in Philadelphia’s win.

Jamal Murray scored 24 points on 8-of-14 shooting for the Nuggets.

Duds of the Night

DeMarre Carroll was held scoreless on 0-of-6 shooting in Brooklyn’s loss.

Gary Harris scored eight points on 2-of-9 shooting in Denver’s win.

Highlights

DeMar DeRozan dropped the hammer on Denver in the fourth quarter.

Ben Simmons soared over the Nets’ best rim protector for an emphatic slam.

What’s Next?

Celtics at Pacers — Boston could be the first team to punch a ticket to the second round by sweeping Indiana on Sunday. The Celtics seem to be putting things together. The Pacers simply lack the star power to win at the moment.

NBA playoffs 2019: Damian Lillard explains real relationship with Russell Westbrook

Damian Lillard

“The funny thing is, off the court, me and Russ is real cool,” Lillard told The Oregonian on Saturday.

Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard’s ongoing feud with Russell Westbrook has been one of the more interesting storylines in the 2019 NBA Playoffs. But the two aren’t always at each other’s throats.

Lillard says he’s actually “real cool” with the Thunder star off the court.

“The funny thing is, off the court, me and Russ is real cool,” Lillard told The Oregonian on Saturday. “I see Russ, he asks about the family, ‘How is the family doing?’ and all that. We actually cool. So it’s funny when they try to say me and Russ hate each other and all this stuff. It’s not really like that. But it’s something about when you get on the court, I guess.”

The two guards are both gritty California natives and grew up just six hours away from each other. They’ve had a few heated exchanges and showy celebrations through three games, and neither one seems to plan on backing down.

“He from the neighborhood. I’m from the neighborhood. Ain’t going to be no getting talked to crazy, getting bullied. It’s not gonna to work. It’s just not gonna to happen,” Lillard said.

Lillard has been phenomenal in the postseason this year. He’s averaging 30.3 points and enters Saturday only trailing James Harden’s average of 30.5. His hot start alongside the help of his backcourt running mate CJ McCollum helped Portland out to to 2-0 lead over Oklahoma City.

Russell Westbrook and the Thunder have battled shooting woes, but the 2017 NBA MVP exploded for 33 points and 11 rebounds to cut his team’s deficit to 2-1 in Game 3.

“I haven’t won a championship,” Lillard said. “I haven’t been an MVP. There are still things out there that I’m after. Obviously, if I don’t get it last year, there are things I need to improve on. If I don’t get it this year, there are things I need to improve on.”

Game 4 will take place at Chesapeake Bay Arena on Sunday.

Johnson leads RBC Heritage heading into final round

Dustin Johnson

Dustin Johnson is in great position to win the RBC Heritage following three rounds of play.

World number one Dustin Johnson holds a one-stroke lead after hitting the front heading into the final round of the RBC Heritage.

American star Johnson carded a three-under-par 68 to leapfrog Shane Lowry following Saturday’s third round in South Carolina.

Amid heavy winds, there were a few big rounds to be had on the course, but only a handful of them as Masters runner-up Johnson earned the lead.

Johnson had some trouble to close out his day, tallying bogeys at the 16th and 17th holes, but fortunately for the 2016 U.S. Open winner, he birdied the previous three to give him a little bit of a cushion going into the final holes on the course.

The 34-year-old – who sits 10 under through 54 holes – leads Ian Poulter (67), Rory Sabbatini (68) and Lowry (71).

Poulter started his day with trouble after a double-bogey at the first, but he followed that up by going six under through his last 17 holes to be level with Sabbatini and overnight leader Lowry.

Patrick Cantlay (66) is two shots back at eight under, while Matt Kuchar (68) is a stroke behind and Webb Simpson sits six under after shooting the best round on the day with a six-under 65.

Former world number one Jordan Spieth posted a three-over-par 74 to slide down into a tie for 42nd – eight shots off the pace.

Pogba can’t always have things his own way, says Solskjaer

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Paul Pogba

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Paul Pogba’s versatility should be an asset to Manchester United as debate over his best position rumbles on.

Manchester United’s team will not be set up purely for Paul Pogba’s benefit, insists manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Since his return to Old Trafford in a £89.3million move from Juventus in 2016, debate over how best to utilise Pogba’s undoubted talent has frequently accompanied United’s highs and lows.

An apparent breakdown in relations with Jose Mourinho was followed by a sublime run of form from the France midfielder when Solskjaer took the reins earlier this season.

However, like many of his team-mates, there has been a levelling off in Pogba’s performances as United have lost five and won two of their past seven games in all competitions.

Fresh reports linking the 26-year-old to Real Madrid have proved an unwelcome distraction and Solskjaer maintains he will continue asking Pogba to do different jobs as the team requires.

“Everyone has got an opinion on Paul. And of course, together with Paul, we have sat down and discussed his positioning,” he told reporters.

“We know he can play as a 10 or a six, we know he can play in probably his preferred position as one of the three in midfield — high, like he did for us at the beginning, like he has done with Juventus.

“With France he has played as one of the two sitters, or one of the two central midfielders with N’Golo Kante.

“So that is the great thing with Paul. He can do both and what we have to to do with all the players is adjust to the games, what that game needs.”

United ideally need three points at Goodison Park on Sunday, with the Everton match preceding a potentially pivotal week in their bid for a top four place.

A Manchester derby against title-chasing City at Old Trafford precedes a home match versus Chelsea – games that are likely to call upon Pogba’s full skill set.

“Some games have needed Paul to drop back, sometimes it has needed him high up the field,” Solskjaer added.

“You can see teams now thinking more about what Paul’s position is and trying to stop him in that position.

“He is no different to others in that we tweak his position a little bit for the team’s benefit.”