Paul Pogba has insisted there was no malice in his tackle on Hector Bellerin, and says he reached out to the Spaniard after the game.
Pogba was dismissed in the second half of Manchester United’s 3-1 win over Arsenal after planting his studs in Bellerin’s leg. The tackle looked awful and completely unnecessary, but was, according to to the midfielder, an unexpected accident.
“Yeah I didn’t really speak after the game – I didn’t have time – but I think Hector I know him as well and I would never give him a tackle like this,” he said, as reported by the Manchester Evening News.
“Unfortunately, for me, I thought he would put his feet [into the tackle] and he was in a position that was a disadvantage for me so I done it. It looks very bad but the intention wasn’t like that. They had the decision, the referee got the red card and that’s football.”
The red card spoiled what was otherwise a very good performance from Pogba. He had just set-up the third and killing goal for United before that moment of madness.
Some journalists leapt to Pogba’s defence by claiming Bellerin was in an unnatural position. However, whether it was intentional or accidental, any challenge that puts the safety of the opponent at risk is a straight red card. Andre Marriner made the correct call.
Pogba will now miss United’s next three games, including the Manchester derby. Bellerin, meanwhile, was fit enough to see out the game, but wasn’t moving as freely as he was.
He’ll be rested for Arsenal’s game against BATE Borisov and should be okay to play against Southampton on Sunday.