Both Conte and Mourinho have played down the emotional significance of Sunday’s massive clash between Manchester United and Chelsea — it’s just another game with title and top four implications, right? — but quotes such as the following from Paul Pogba are decent indicators that for the players, especially for the twice-vanquished redshirts, there is a bit more at stake than just the three points.
“We have to be focused and get ready and show them revenge, it’s revenge for us. So, let’s be positive about it and hopefully go and win this game.”
Winning starts with scoring goals, which is something that United have surprisingly struggled with, despite the presence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and plenty of sparkling attacking talent. Pogba, who’s well familiar with the Conte-effect from their time together at Juventus, and is also well familiar with the Kanté-effect from their time together with the French national team — “he can run for 11 players”; “he’s everywhere!” — knows that goals won’t come easy against Chelsea. (Hopefully he hasn’t looked at our recent defensive record...)
“We know that Chelsea, defensively, are very good. The formation they have, they know exactly what to do.”
“It was exactly the same at Juventus when [Antonio] Conte was there, you know his training was always the same so the players know what they’re going to do. Tactically, he doesn’t want to concede a goal.”
“We haven’t scored a goal yet against Chelsea so, hopefully this weekend, we will score and we have to.”
-Paul Pogba; source: MUTV via Star
Goals and revenge! Brace yourselves.