Manchester United’s French striker Anthony Martial (L) wallks with Manchester United’s French midfielder Paul Pogba following the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Middlesbrough at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on December 31, 2016. Oli SCARFF / AFP
Paul Pogba says Manchester United will be motivated by revenge when they face Premier League leaders Chelsea on Sunday at Old Trafford.
United have suffered two painful defeats against Chelsea already this season, losing 4-0 in the league and 1-0 in the FA Cup quarter-finals.
Although United manager Jose Mourinho insists his old club Chelsea’s visit doesn’t come with added emotion, Pogba begs to differ.
The France midfielder, who has endured an erratic season since his world record move from Juventus, says Mourinho’s men would dearly love to damage Chelsea’s title hopes and boost their bid to finish in the top four in the process.
“Well, this season Chelsea have beaten us two times and, obviously, we don’t want that to happen a third time. We want to win,” Pogba said.
“Obviously they are ahead of us, they’re playing for the title and, for them, it’s important to win this game.
“For us as well because we’re playing for the top four as well, so it’s going to be a game that’s really important for each team.
“We have to be focused and get ready and show them revenge, it’s revenge for us. So, let’s be positive about it and hopefully go and win this game.”
United have gone unbeaten in 21 league matches since being thrashed at Stamford Bridge in October, but 10 draws during that run leaves them scrapping for Champions League qualification rather than the title.
Chelsea’s far superior cutting edge means the league leaders are 18 points better off than fifth-placed United, although Pogba believes the west Londoners’ turnaround this season should offer Mourinho’s side hope for the future.
“They have a great team and everybody knows that,” Pogba said.
“When you’re playing in the Premier League you have to have a bit of luck as well but you create the luck.
“They have a manager who pushes them and they have players who want to show the world that Chelsea are still alive and, last year, that didn’t happen.”