Paul Pogba explains penalty row with Alexis Sanchez: Man United have no designated penalty-taker



Posted Saturday, August 11, 2018 by ESPN

Paul Pogba explains penalty row with Alexis Sanchez: Man United have no designated penalty-taker
Paul Pogba celebrates after scoring in Manchester United's Premier League win over Leicester City.
OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images

Paul Pogba revealed that Manchester United do not have a designated penalty-taker, following an on-pitch discussion with Alexis Sanchez in their Premier League-opening 2-1 win over Leicester City on Friday.

United were awarded a penalty in the opening two minutes when Daniel Amartey handled the ball, and after Pogba tried to take the ball to the spot, he was met by an insistent Sanchez.

The players appeared to briefly state their cases about who should take the shot, but Pogba -- named captain for the day by Jose Mourinho -- won out and converted his attempt to give United an early lead.

Pogba explained his side of the incident after the game and said he would not always be taking penalties for United this season.

"We don't have a penalty-taker, it's how we feel, and I decided to take it," Pogba told Sky Sports. "Maybe on the next game I leave it to Alexis."

It was the first game back with United for Pogba after his World Cup-winning exploits, and he said it was challenge to find his form before eventually giving way to substitute Marouane Fellaini in the 84th minute.

"We should start the Premier League with a win and we did," he said. "I didn't have any preseason games, I came back on Monday so it was very hard for the legs. We played very well, the performance was OK. We want to go up."

He also said he'd moved past the excitement of the summer, adding: "Winning the World Cup is in the past. I like challenges, I want to progress and win more trophies."

Pogba's goal was the only tally until Luke Shaw's run into the box and shot to the far post doubled United's advantage in the 83rd minute.

It was the first senior goal for the 23-year-old left-back as he opened his seventh season in the Premier League, and it turned out to be a match-winner as well, after Jamie Vardy headed home a rebound to get a goal back for Leicester in the 92nd minute.

"It's the best feeling I have had in my career. I have worked really hard over the preseason and I had a lot of time to reflect, and work on what I needed to," Shaw told Sky. "Even tonight, I know I can be better and that is what I want to keep showing the manager."

Shaw's first touch from a Sanchez cross took a fortuitous bounce around Leicester's Ricardo Pereira, and the former Southampton defender pounced and fired a shot past Kasper Schmeichel to score.

"It was my first goal and that is all that was important, it doesn't matter how I scored," he said. "I was meant to come inside and I managed to get in front of him and put it in."

Shaw wasn't positive his goal meant he'd remain a first-choice starter for Mourinho, but he said he's set his sights high.

"I don't want to speak too soon after one game but I want to be up there with the best left-backs in the world," he said. "I have the foundations to do that here with the manager and my team-mates at Manchester United. I want to play for England and I want to be involved again.

"I don't think I was playing as well as I could with my attacking capabilities last season, and that's what I'm known for."

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