Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has leapt to the defence of teammate Cristiano Ronaldo following his hat-trick against Tottenham on Saturday.
The Portugal forward became football’s all-time record goal scorer (at least by FIFA’s statistics) following his treble in a crucial 3-2 win that lifted Man Utd back into the top four.
Ronaldo had come under criticism following a run of one goal in ten games and there were suggestions that his presence in the team was a negative one, but Pogba has rubbished this talk and hailed United’s number seven as the best striker in history.
“He [Ronaldo] has never been a problem. You have the best striker in history in our team, he cannot be a problem. Today the performance from him and all the team was very brilliant,” Pogba said to media post-game.
“Ronaldo was brilliant. I think that’s all we needed – a reaction. We scored beautiful goals. Even when we conceded a goal, we came back and scored again. The mentality was there again today.
“Everybody knows Cristiano – there’s no need to talk about him. That’s what he does. He didn’t play in the last game, but he comes back and scores three goals. Everybody’s happy.
“It was good today. You can hear the fans – they were pushing us and feeling it. I think today was a very good performance as a team and a very good reaction from the City game.
“We kept believing. In the second half we didn’t get the nice passing, and the movement I think wasn’t there. We gave them a bit of confidence, that’s why they scored. But we got a corner and scored the winning goal.”
Ronaldo’s hat-trick sees him climb to second in the race for the Premier League golden boot, now level with Liverpool duo on 12 goals. However, he remains eight behind runaway leader Mohamed Salah.
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United rise to fourth place with Saturday’s victory but have played four games more than Arsenal who sit two points behind them.
They head into Tuesday’s huge Champions League last 16 with Atletico Madrid with their talisman back in form