Jose Mourinho insists Paul Pogba was the best player on the pitch in Manchester United’s 1-0 defeat by Chelsea on Monday.
N’Golo Kante’s second-half strike sent Chelsea to the FA Cup semi-final, following Ander Herrera’s first-half sending off at Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho, who signed Pogba for a world-record £89m in the summer from Juventus, said the Frenchman was a “giant” on the pitch, despite Chelsea dominating the midfield battle.
“We have to be positive, the players were phenomenal but Pogba was by far the best player on the pitch,” Mourinho said after the game.
“He was a giant on the pitch. After him, all my other boys were fantastic.”
Many were comparing Kante and his compatriot Pogba going into the game, but the Chelsea man and match-winner came out on top.
Pogba made just 27 passes in a game where United were missing their talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic through suspension.
Kante had more passes, had a better passing accuracy, made four key passes to Pogba’s zero, and also bettered Pogba in duel success, tackles won and lost the ball fewer times.
Mourinho, who answered back to Chelsea fans calling him Judas by saying he is still the Blues’ No 1 manager, also said there is a lot of envy surrounding the 23-year-old following his big-money move.
“The specialists will say a lot about him and it comes from envy. They will never ever earn 10 per cent of what he does.”
Man Utd had just 28 per cent possession against Chelsea, their lowest figure in a match this season.
Pogba has seven goals and four assists for United this season.