Football

Euro Leagues | Pogba’s strike puts United back on top

Manchester United's French midfielder Paul Pogba (L) celebrates with Manchester United's Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes (R) after scoring their second goal.   | Photo Credit: AFP

Manchester United reclaimed pole position in the Premier League as Paul Pogba’s stunning second-half strike earned it a 2-1 victory at Fulham on Wednesday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side had been leapfrogged by Leicester City on Tuesday and then Manchester City, which beat Aston Villa 2-0 earlier on Wednesday, but responded with an eighth away win of the season.

Long time coming

United moved to the top with 40 points from 19 games, two points above City, which has played a game less, and Leicester. It is the first time for eight years it has been top at the halfway stage of the season.

It had not looked good when Ademola Lookman rewarded the host by firing home after five minutes.

But United, sluggish to begin with, came to life and Edinson Cavani equalised from close range in the 21st minute after a mistake by Fulham keeper Alphonse Areola. A rejuvenated Pogba earned United a vital goal in the 65th minute when arrowed an unstoppable shot past Areola.

Earlier, City moved to the top temporarily after a brilliant home win over Aston Villa. Bernardo Silva put City ahead in the 79th minute with a brilliant left-footed finish and Ilkay Gundogan made sure of the three points with a 90th-minute penalty.

Lewandowski does it

Bundesliga top scorer Robert Lewandowski struck a first half penalty to help Bayern Munich earn a nervous 1-0 victory at Augsburg and stay four points clear at the top at the season's halfway mark.

The results:

Premier League: Manchester City 2 (Silva 79, Gundogan 90-pen) bt Aston Villa 0; Fulham 1 (Lookman 5) lost to Manchester United 2 (Cavani 21, Pogba 65).

LaLiga: Getafe 1 (Arambarri 70) bt SD Huesca 0; Real Betis 2 (Canales 25, 44) bt Celta Vigo 1 (Lorenzo 16); Villarreal 2 (Pena 29, Moises 63-pen) drew with Granada 2 (Soldado 21, Kenedy 75).

Serie A: Udinese 1 (Pereyra 1) Atalanta 1 (Muriel 44)

Bundesliga: Schalke 1 (Hoppe 57) lost to Cologne 2 (Czichos 31, Thielmann 90); RB Leipzig 1 (Forsberg 70) bt Union Berlin 0; Freiburg 2 (Sallai 32, Petersen 63) drew with Eintracht Frankfurt 2 (Younes 6, Schlotterbeck 75-og); Augsburg 0 lost to Bayern Munich 1 (Lewandowski 13-pen); Arminia Bielefeld 3 (Klos 27, Kempf 47-og, Doan 86) bt Stuttgart 0.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2021 9:08:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/euro-leagues-pogbas-strike-puts-united-back-on-top/article33629057.ece

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