Graeme Souness flips the lid with Paul Pogba 'leg breaker' comments
Neves had got a point. Souness was seriously clutching.
Graeme Souness knows a thing of 1,756 about lusty tackles, and he had a strong opinion on Paul Pogba's coming together with Ruben Neves.
If you want to challenge for titles, you have to win games when you're not playing well. Manchester United failed to do so against Southampton last weekend, but did just that against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday.
The difference between both games? In one, United got a decision, and in the other they didn't.
In the Southampton game, Bruno Fernandes was insistent that Saints defender Jack Stephens had fouled him in the build up to the home side's goal in a game that finished 1-1.
Against Wolves, it was United who got the rub of the green. In the build up to their winning goal - Mason Greenwood's third in three Premier League games - Pogba tackled Neves. The Portuguese midfielder appeared to have a delayed reaction, falling to the ground a second or so after contact, but there was contact.
This was a view corroborated by all three pundits on Sky Sports - Roy Keane, Graeme Souness and Robbie Keane - and indeed by the man on the end of that tackle: Neves himself.
🗣"Everybody saw it. Everyone saw my leg, we always do meetings about refs and VAR but I don't know why this happens..."
Ruben Neves is very unhappy with the refs decision during the build up to Man United's goal pic.twitter.com/vhXuDpz3cW
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) August 29, 2021
Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, the Wolves captain was open in his disagreement with the decision.
"Everyone saw it," said the midfielder. "Everyone saw my leg. I don't know why, to be honest with you. We always do meetings about everything - referees and VAR - I dunno why.
"They said before the season starts that they'll look for contact. If the contact is strong enough they'll call the foul.
"I showed them my leg. Just their decision now."
At this point, Neves touched on a point which was on the minds of a lot of people - last weekend's game.
"I think, maybe because in the last game it was a foul before the Southampton goal. Maybe. Now, they did the opposite."
For Souness, meanwhile, he went several steps too far in claiming Pogba had gone in for a leg-breaking challenge on Neves.
"It's a leg breaker, its a dangerous tackle and it's a leg breaker," he declared.
"It's impossible for anyone who knows anything about football to say that isn't a foul."
— Jeremy Vine (@theJeremyVine) August 29, 2021
"I'm not saying Paul Pogba meant to do someone, but... "
Souness was getting more and more worked up with each replay.
It is well documented that the Scot has long had an issue with Pogba, and his latest proclamations sent folks searching [it did not take long] for clips of Souness going full whack:
Souness having a go at Pogba for a ‘leg breaker’ 🤦♂️ pic.twitter.com/AgM5Qljicb
— Alan Tonge 🐝 💙 🏴 (@Alan_Tonge) August 29, 2021
It was a 50/50 challenge and it went United's way against Wolves.
It went against them in the Southampton game but, as Jamie Carragher said up in Sky's commentary booth, the games are much better for some of these keener challenges being allowed.