Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku were involved in a furious row after the Frenchman’s missed penalty against Southampton, it has emerged.
Lukaku was on a hat-trick when Manchester United were awarded a late spot-kick that would have made it 4-2 and wrapped up the three points.
Yet, Pogba stepped up and his now infamous run-up was made to look rather foolish by Saints stopper Angus Gunn, who saved with his feet.
The midfielder has now missed three times from 12 yards this season, with some fans feeling he should be taken off penalty duties.
It’s easy to imagine that his Belgian team-mate will have been feeling a little aggrieved after the final whistle.
However, in front of the media, Lukaku dealt with the matter very diplomatically.
“I am a striker and I wanted Paul Pogba to score the penalty,” he told the BBC.
“He has been on a good run but he has been an important player for us and will bounce back.”
That should have put the story to bed – and it had, until a fresh report in Tuesday’s edition of The Sun leaked further details from the United dressing room.
LUKAKU LOST IT
According to the newspaper, Lukaku angrily reminded Pogba that he had given him his backing during his row’s with Jose Mourinho.
The 25-year-old also told the World Cup winner that if it had been the other way round, he would have handed the ball over to him.
Pogba, in response, reminded him that he is the club’s designated penalty-taker.
It’s claimed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had to step in to cool tempers between the two players, who are usually seen as close friends.
A United source is quoted:
“It was quite a stern conversation and Romelu was clearly not happy about what Pogba had done.
“He was quick to remind Paul how much he had helped him when he fell out with Mourinho.
“It needed Ole to calm the situation down.”
Since Solskjaer’s arrival, it has seemingly been nothing but bliss in the Red Devils’ camp.
Indeed, this may well be the first major row the Norwegian has had to deal with.
At any rate, it will be very interesting to see if Pogba is kept on penalties if he misses any more.