Souness claims Pogba should have been punished for challenge on Neves

Graeme Souness claims Paul Pogba should have been punished for challenge on Wolves’ Ruben Neves in the build up to Manchester United’s goal as it ‘could have been a leg breaker’

  • Graeme Souness stated Paul Pogba should have been punished for challenge 
  • Pogba raised his foot as he went in for a tackle up against Wolves’ Ruben Neves 
  • Roy Keane says a foul wasn’t awarded as Neves didn’t go down immediately
  • Shortly after the incident Mason Greenwood scored the only goal for United 

Graeme Souness believes Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba should have been penalised for a challenge on Wolves’ Ruben Neves at Molineux on Sunday, saying that it could have been a ‘leg breaker’.

Pogba wasn’t punished by referee Mike Dean for the challenge, which occurred just prior to Mason Greenwood scoring what proved to be the only goal of the game, with United prevailing with a 1-0 victory.

Although Pogba didn’t make major contact with Neves, Souness was heavily critical of the tackle, stating that the Frenchman was ‘nowhere near the ball’ as he raised his foot.

Graeme Souness feels Paul Pogba should have been punished for a challenge on Ruben Neves

Souness stated that the Manchester United midfielder’s tackle could have been a ‘leg breaker’

Speaking on Sky Sports, Souness said: ‘That could have been a leg breaker. He’s not blindsided by anything. I was guilty of some daft things, some cruel things and nasty things. 

‘That is a classic case of if I’m looking to do someone, I’m going just above the ball. I’m not saying Pogba meant to do it but that’s how it ended up looking. 

‘He’s nowhere near the ball. How does that referee not deem that a foul? It’s more than worrying, it’s alarming when a senior referee does not deem that as a foul.’

Souness stated that Pogba made contact with Neves’ shinpad, and added that the challenge was ‘dangerous’.

Pogba wasn’t penalised for the tackle, with United securing a 1-0 victory away at Molineux

He continued: ‘It’s a foul. Pogba doesn’t make any contact with the ball. We’ll see the contact with the shin guard. He doesn’t make any contact with the ball so how is it not a foul?

‘Watch how high Pogba’s foot is. I just don’t see how he doesn’t see it. They got away with one and of course that led to the goal. United got away with one today. 

‘The referee is there to referee the game, he’s not blindsided by it. Whether Neves goes down or not. That is a leg breaker! Look how close he is. That is a dangerous challenge.

‘He has gone down, he’s looked at him. The question is as a referee, I can see it clearly. That referee has deemed that not a foul. That is impossible for anyone who doesn’t know anything about football is impossible. He’s two yards away.’

Roy Keane believes that a foul wasn’t given because Neves didn’t go down immediately 

Former United midfielder Roy Keane believes that the fact that Neves’ didn’t go down immediately went against him when Dean made his decision.

Keane felt that Neves took too long to react, which made Dean feel that the tackle wasn’t a particularly sinister one.  

Keane said: ‘I think it’s a foul but I think Neves is too honest. If he goes down straight away he gives the free-kick. His reaction is delayed. He definitely catches him but he just takes too long to maybe react. He catches him but Neves, if he goes down now 100 per cent referee. He looks at the referee, then hobbles, and then goes down.

‘I don’t think one United player would have complained if he’d given a free-kick because he’s off his feet.’

United had to battle to secure victory against Wolves, but in terms of results they have made an encouraging start to the season, taking seven points out of a possible nine.

Following his sensational return to the club, United will hope to have Cristiano Ronaldo back in their side for their next Premier League game at home to Newcastle on September 11. 

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