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Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba may have built himself up too much and got overexcited about facing Liverpool, according to former Red Devils defender Gary Neville.
Pogba, 23, had said before United and Liverpool’s 1-1 draw on Sunday that facing the Merseyside club was a bigger game than taking on Manchester City.
The France international then went on to produce a poor display against the Reds, which included giving away the penalty that led to Jurgen Klopp’s team taking the lead and missing a good goal-scoring chance.
“He [Pogba] was here as a kid — he knows how much this fixture means to the club, to the people in the area — and it’s as if he did build himself up a little bit too much and got excited. It happens, though,” Neville told the Sky Sports Gary Neville Podcast.
“It happened to me a few times and other players who know what the importance is. They see the expectation. They understand people walking the streets past them.
“He’s still a young man, Paul Pogba, he’s learning and he’ll learn from this because, in the first half, it was as tough a first 45 minutes for him as, mentally, he will have had here — in the sense that he looked frustrated, he gave the ball away a few times and the fans were aware of that as well and he has to come out of that.
“All players go through those matches and periods and it was one of his.”
Liverpool caused problems from set pieces in the first half, with Pogba having problems defending them.
“Four or five times Pogba lost [Dejan] Lovren,” Neville added. “He was struggling with him.”
Arindam is ESPN FC’s Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @ARejSport.