Paul Pogba cups his ears as he is BOOED off and told ‘f**k you’ by Man United fans after win over Norwich… with interim boss Ralf Rangnick calling on fans to back off as he says targeting Frenchman DOESN’T ‘make any sense’
Pogba, who is out of contract at the end of the season and set to leave the club, sarcastically cupped his ear towards fans as he walked towards the tunnel at full-time, having had to listen to chants of ‘f**k off Pogba’ when he was replaced by Marcus Rashford with the score at 2-2 midway through the second half.
Rangnick said the incident had been a subject of conversation among his coaching staff but said Pogba shouldn’t be singled out in a difficult season for United.
Paul Pogba was told ‘f*** you’ and booed off the pitch by Manchester United fans on Saturday
Pogba was booed as he was substituted off for Marcus Rashford after another poor showing
‘The fans are amazing and I can fully understand them being frustrated and disappointed but I don’t think it makes any sense to take on any individual person or player,’ said the German interim.
‘It is a collective responsibility so I will always defend and protect my players. I didn’t see what he did at the end of the game but I heard about it.
‘It was his reaction to the chanting during the game. As I said, I can understand the fans in a way but I don’t think it makes sense to take on one player.
‘I actually thought Paul did quite well in possession during the game. It wasn’t his best position of No8 but we had no Fred or Scotty (McTominay) so I had to make a choice.’
United moved to within three points of a Champions League spot with a narrow win against the Premier League’s bottom team on a day of anti-Glazer protests at Old Trafford.
But Rangnick isn’t counting on a late surge with Liverpool up next at Anfield on Tuesday.
‘Everyone has seen today’s game and knows what sort of team we are playing next. They have just beaten Manchester City today and have a chance to win four trophies,’ he reflected.
‘If we play like today, it will be very difficult to get even a point. This is what we have to be realistic and aware of. We need to raise our standards.’
Rangnick is likely to be succeeded by Ajax boss Erik ten Hag for next season and his biggest decision will be what to do with 37-year-old Ronaldo whose hat-trick yesterday took his tally to 21 goals this season.
‘He made the difference once again,’ said Rangnick. ‘Cristiano has one year left on his contract and it will be a decision for the next manager and the board. It is no coincidence that he has the best scoring record in history.’
Norwich boss Dean Smith has to produce snookers to get his team out of trouble now. ‘I am pleased with our performance but disappointed with the result,’ he said. ‘We could have been better in both boxes – Ronaldo will get the plaudits but he’s had a couple of goals handed on a plate.’
He also felt Tim Krul could have kept out Ronaldo’s winning free-kick after getting his fingertips to it.
‘It might sound harsh but when it is the goalkeeper’s side, I probably feel he could have done better and by his standards, he probably thinks that as well,’ added Smith. ‘He was probably a bit mis-sighted. We know we have an uphill struggle to stay up.’