Graeme Souness claims Paul Pogba should have been punished for challenging Wolves’ Ruben Neves ahead of Manchester United goal, as it ‘could have been a bone-breaker’
- Graeme Souness said Paul Pogba should have been punished for challenge
- Pogba lifted his foot as he made a tackle against Wolves’ Ruben Neves
- Roy Keane says no foul was awarded because Neves didn’t go down right away
- Shortly after the incident, Mason Greenwood scored United’s only goal
Graeme Souness believes Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba should have been penalized for challenging Wolves’ Ruben Neves at Molineux on Sunday, saying it could have been a “leg breaker”.
Pogba was not penalized by referee Mike Dean for the challenge, which took place just before Mason Greenwood scored what turned out to be the only goal of the game, with United triumphing with a 1-0 win.
Although Pogba did not make major contact with Neves, Souness was heavily critical of the tackle, stating that the Frenchman was ‘not near the ball’ when he lifted his foot.
Graeme Souness thinks Paul Pogba should have been punished for a challenge on Ruben Neves
Souness stated the Manchester United midfielder’s tackle could have been a ‘leg breaker’
Speaking on Sky Sports, Souness said: ‘That could have been a bone-breaker. He is not blinded by anything. I was guilty of some crazy things, some cruel things and nasty things.
“That’s a classic case of when I want to do someone, I go just over the ball. I’m not saying Pogba intended it, but that’s what it ended up looking like.
“He’s not near the ball. How does the referee think that’s not a violation? It’s beyond worrying, it’s alarming when a senior referee doesn’t consider that a foul.”
Souness stated that Pogba had made contact with Neves’ shin and added that the challenge was “dangerous”.
Pogba was not penalized for the tackle, with United taking a 1-0 win over Molineux
He continued: ‘It is a violation. Pogba does not make any contact with the ball. We will see the contact with the shin guard. He doesn’t make any contact with the ball, so how is it not a foul?
“Look how high Pogba’s foot is. I just don’t understand why he doesn’t see it. They got away with one and that naturally led to the goal. United got away with it today.
“The referee is there to referee the match, he won’t be caught off guard by it. Whether Neves goes down or not. That’s a leg crusher! Look how close he is. That is a dangerous challenge.
‘He fell, he looked at him. The question is as a referee, I can see it clearly. The referee didn’t think it was a violation. That is impossible for someone who knows nothing about football is impossible. He’s two meters away.’
Roy Keane believes no offense was committed because Neves didn’t go down right away
Former United midfielder Roy Keane believes the fact that Neves didn’t go down immediately went against him when Dean made his decision.
Keane felt that Neves was taking too long to respond, leaving Dean feeling that the tackle wasn’t particularly sinister.
Keane said: ‘I think it’s a foul, but I think Neves is too honest. If he goes down immediately, he gives the free kick. His response is delayed. He definitely catches it, but he just takes too long to maybe respond. He catches him but Neves, if he goes 100 percent referee now. He looks at the umpire, stumbles and then goes down.
“I don’t think any United player would have complained if he had given a free kick because he wasn’t on his feet.”
United had to battle to secure the win against Wolves, but in terms of results they have made an encouraging start to the season, with seven out of a possible nine.
Following his sensational return to the club, United are hoping to have Cristiano Ronaldo back on their side on September 11 for their next Premier League game at home against Newcastle.