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Sergio Ramos shines as Real win Madrid derby, close La Liga gap on Barcelona

Sergio Ramos shines as Real win Madrid derby, close La Liga gap on Barcelona

LONDON: Manchester United’s in-form striker Paul Pogba said greater challenges lie ahead for the club after scoring twice in a 3-0 win away to Premier League strugglers Fulham on Saturday.The French midfielder fired United into an early lead and, after Anthony Martial made it 2-0, wrapped up the win with a second-half penalty at Craven Cottage.Victory continued United’s meteoric revival under caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as they climbed into fourth in the Premier League, one point above Chelsea, who face Manchester City today.By contrast, United were 11 points adrift of the top four when Jose Mourinho was sacked as their manager in December.“It feels great, that’s what we wanted since Ole came,” Pogba, who had a strained relationship with Mourinho, said.“We talked about this there’s still a long way to go but we want to stay there.”United have won 10 of their 11 matches since former Red Devils striker Solskjaer returned to Old Trafford.“We were very far behind and now we get back to the top four but there’s still a long way to go with big games coming up so it won’t be easy,” Pogba said ahead of a Champions League last 16 first leg against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday.
“It will be the big games coming up now that decide where we end the season.”As for his goal double against Fulham, Pogba said: “It’s always great to score goals, most important is to win games. When you score but don’t win it’s not the same feeling.“I just focus on trying to put the ball inside the goal. This game was very important, like you can see we are fourth, even though Chelsea haven’t played. It’s a good sign, even though we have to carry on to stay there.“We’ve played better but getting two quick goals in the first half changed the game. Ole helps every player play at their best, Ole is himself. He’s not acting and he’s given joy and confidence to everyone.“The team has a really good atmosphere. You can see on the pitch the effect (of him).“There is a long way to go with big games coming up. We’ve got to focus on PSG and try and get points from the big teams,” he said.Solksjaer, the man of the moment at United, said he was pleased his side managed to recover from a shaky start in which Fulham created two very clear-cut chances.“The first 10 minutes we made it hard for ourselves but the last 80 minutes pleased me. We managed the game well which you have to do away from home and we played some fantastic football.“The players have some fantastic qualities. I’ve supported United for many years and as a United fan you go into every game thinking you’re going to win it. We’re on a great run but I think the players are feeling the same.“We know how good Paul Pogba is and he scored a great goal,” the Norwegian said.“We want to keep moving forward and hang onto this fourth place. When you win games, you’re always happy and I think the crowd will enjoy the trip home,” he added.For Fulham manager Claudio Ranieri, it was yet another frustrating day at the office.“We created two great chances in the first 10 minutes but after we conceded we gave it to them and lost our composure. When you play against big champions you can make mistakes,” he said.“I tried to give my players more opportunities by playing with two strikers and Ryan Babel in behind. We didn’t create anything very dangerous and the penalty finished the match.”On Andre Schurrle’s substitution, Ranieri explained himself by saying: “I know the fans were not happy but I had two players with flu in the week, including Andre Schurrle. I can understand the fans always want their players to play but it’s not always possible.“We will work to try and win our next two games. We’re always positive.”

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