Paul Pogba was United’s heartbeat but has given José Mourinho a headache | Amy Lawrence

The French midfielder sat out the dying moments of the thrilling 3-1 victory at Arsenal but will be sorely missed for the Manchester derby and beyond

A French midfielder with massive presence sent off in an intense match between Manchester United and Arsenal reflected on his emotions in the dressing room, mind whirring while the latter stages of the game was played without him. “It’s tough, especially in a big moment like that,” he said. “You feel like you let the team down. There are so many emotions going through your mind, and everything is negative – I was so mad about the red card.” As it happens, those words belong to Patrick Vieira, who experienced the frustration of being dismissed – unfairly in his view – in a simmering encounter at Old Trafford in 2003.

Like Vieira on that heated day, the result ended up favourable enough for Paul Pogba this weekend to ensure the immediate vexation was not punished, as his team-mates maintained a meaningful result without him. But the aftermath brings added complications. For club and player, suspension for this weekend’s showdown against Manchester City, plus a couple more games on top, is a bitter pill.

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