Luke Shaw has hailed Paul Pogba for playing an important role off the bench during Manchester United’s 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur on Friday night.
Pogba had not played for the Red Devils since Boxing Day and was named amongst the substitutes for the trip to north London.
But with Spurs leading 1-0 heading into the final third of the match, the France midfielder was brought on by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
And it did not take long for the 27-year-old to make an impact, producing some deft footwork to draw a foul from Eric Dier and win a penalty, which Bruno Fernandes converted in the 81st minute.
Shaw believes Pogba’s introduction to the match was a key moment in United securing a point and he hopes the World Cup winner will start the next match.
“We never give up, we kept going, we felt fit and stronger than them, we could see they were suffering at times,” Shaw told MUTV.
“It was a great bit of skill from Paul to win the penalty. I said to him after how much of a difference he made and he didn’t play that long.
“It’s great to have him and Rashy [Marcus Rashford] back, they are very important players to our side and hopeful we can see Paul from the start on Wednesday.”
Though Pogba won the penalty and has traditionally been first-choice to take spot kicks, Portugal star Fernandes has assumed responsibility from 12 yards since his arrival in January.
Shaw believes United now boast a wealth of options to take penalties, but insists Fernandes is first in line.
He added: “We’re very confident with Bruno taking penalties. We’ve got many players in the team who can step up under pressure and score. He changed his run-up and it was a good pen.”
Solskjaer’s side had hoped to close the three-point gap on fourth-place Chelsea with victory at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
But Shaw believes a draw is a positive result in the race for Champions League football.
“A point isn’t what we wanted and it isn’t what we deserved but it’s a point towards qualifying for the Champions League and maybe we’ll look back on it as an important point,” Shaw said.
“Spurs are a very good team and it’s very different circumstances. It’s something new to all of us, but we played well, we controlled the game, we just didn’t get the result we wanted.”
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