MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba took the blame for his team’s 1-0 Premier League defeat at home by Arsenal after giving away the second half penalty that decided the outcome.
Pogba clipped the foot of Hector Bellerin with a poorly judged challenge inside the box, which he described as “stupid”, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang converted the penalty.
“We know it’s a poor performance. Myself, I cannot give a foul away like this,” Pogba told the BBC.
“I thought I would touch the ball but I didn’t. (I) cost us the goal today with the penalty.
“I shouldn’t have given a penalty away like that. Maybe I was a bit out of breath, it made me do this stupid mistake. I will learn from that, I’m not the best defensively in the box, I can work on that,” he added.
“Like I say, details. We have to do better, the team, myself, it starts with me,” said the French World Cup winner, who was recalled to the starting line-up in the Premier League after being left out following the 1-6 home defeat by Tottenham Hotspur last month.
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was disappointed with his team’s display after the excellent 5-0 win over RB Leipzig in the Champions League and did not spare Pogba from the criticism.
“He needs to stay on his feet. Paul knows it’s a soft penalty to give away,” said the Norwegian.
“We were too sloppy, too many passes went astray and the rotation was not there. Too many things that can go wrong in a game did for us today. Today we didn’t get the response we hoped for.
“In the first half, we never turned up. The intensity, the tempo wasn’t there, the shape - they were better than us and created a couple of half-decent chances.
“In the second half, they didn’t look like they were going to score, apart from the penalty. So we played better in the second half but still we have to turn up with more intensity,” he added.
Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Christian Radnedge
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