Winning goal was 'beautiful', says inspired Pogba

Soccer Football - Premier League - Fulham v Manchester United - Craven Cottage, London, Britain - January 20, 2021 Manchester United's Paul Pogba celebrates after the match Pool via REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

LONDON (Reuters) - French midfielder Paul Pogba described as 'beautiful' his winning goal at Fulham that sent Manchester United back to the top of the Premier League on Wednesday.

United's record signing, finally beginning to produce consistently the marauding displays that can make him unstoppable, thundered a left-foot shot past Fulham keeper Alphonse Areola in the 65th minute to earn United a 2-1 win.

It was the second week running that Pogba had scored the winner, having also volleyed a decider at Burnley that sent United top for the first time this season.

Wednesday's strike was even better and put United back above Leicester City and Manchester City with 40 points from 19 games.

"Was a beautiful one," he said of his third league goal of the season. "When you go with your instinct you don't think and sometimes it goes well and that is what happened today.

"It is my left foot so I tried to look and go for it, not think too much. I saw the goalkeeper and tried to hit it there and it went very well."

While all headlines will be for the 27-year-old Pogba, there were several impressive performers for United who recovered from falling behind after five minutes to Ademola Lookman's goal.

Edinson Cavani's equaliser was his fourth for the club, all away from home, while Bruno Fernandes was again the catalyst for much of United's best attacks.

United have now won eight away games in the league this season, seven having come from behind.

"It is not only about me," Pogba said. "Playing on the left or the right as long as I play I know I have the confidence of the guys. When I am on the pitch I just want to win."

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, whose side have emulated Alex Ferguson's treble winners by going 17 away league games undefeated, is happy to be talking about Pogba's contribution on the pitch, rather than fielding questions about reports that the Frenchman wants to leave Old Trafford.

"I am very happy with his performances," said Solskjaer. "I know what he can do. He does everything.

"Now he is putting all the elements together in his performances and it is great to see."

Incredibly, a couple of months ago Solskjaer was also having to fend off questions about his future at the club after a woeful start to the season. Now, having reached the halfway stage top, a title challenge is brewing.

"It is always going to be talked about that when you are halfway through and top of the league, but we are not thinking about this, we just have to go one game at a time," he added. "It is such an unpredictable season."

For Fulham manager Scott Parker the rest of the season will be a relegation dogfight with his side in 18th spot, four points behind 17th-placed Burnley after eight games without a win, albeit with five draws in that sequence.

"I saw a team today that looked threatening and tried their hardest to get back into the game," Parker said.

"The next challenge is to maintain where we are and don't let defeat sink us."

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Toby Davis)

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