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Author: Fabio Barcellona

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In the 63rd minute of the derby Juventus was defending against Torino’s final assault. Juventus had the ball on their own right side. Pogba, following the consolidated Juventus

3-5-2 formation, tried to create a direct line of passage behind the opposing team’s midfield line.

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The ball sailed fast and true to the left to the awaiting Daniele Rugani. Pogba moved behind the rival midfield and forced Maksimovic, one of the three Torino central backs, to abandon the line to mark him.
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Pogba received the ball and, pivoting around his opponent’s body, he completed a 180° rotation that placed him in front of the goal, leaving the defender behind. But the forwards’ motion told him that it wasn’t yet time to execute the play. He would have to wait. He slowed down, Maksimovic recovered, but Pogba beat his opponent again using his left heel.
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The heel-dribbling manoeuvre freed Pogba again in front of the opposing team’s goal. Now it was time for the assist. Morata attacked deep behind Glik and the No. 10 bianconero player served the ball up just over the Torino back’s head that the Spaniard skilfully turned into a goal.
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All of Paul Pogba’s greatness comes through in the Juventus 3-1 goal.

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The way he sought out the space between the Torino lines that forced one of the three defenders out, leaving the remaining two backs man-to-man with the two bianconero forwards highlights the Frenchman’s tactical perception skills.

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In the duel with Maksimovic, who he beat twice, once dribbling and once with a heel manoeuvre, and in the assist for Morata, Pogba’s technical skills shine through, author of a Zidane style play.

Slowing down and then executing the second move was not pointless showboating, but it was done out of the need to wait for the right timing to serve Morata. A stop-and-go reminiscent of Xavi. All of this done by the same player who, with 6 tackles and 3 interceptions, recovered more balls throughout the match than any other Juventus player.

Paul Pogba plays total Football.
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Fabio Barcellona
Fabio Barcellona, chemical engineer and UEFA B Coach. He writes for L’Ultimo Uomo

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