Manchester, July 23 (IANS) Manchester United defender Harry Maguire has revealed teammate Paul Pogba apologised after conceding a soft penalty during their 1-1 draw against West Ham in the Premier League on Wednesday night.
David Moyes' team took the shock lead at Old Trafford after Pogba blocked a shot with his hand inside the box and Michail Antonio converted the subsequent penalty kick just at the stroke of half-time. Mason Greenwood's 51st minute strike levelled the proceedings for the hosts.
"You could say it was a natural reaction from Paul. Should he do it? He probably should take one in the face, but he has apologised, he held his hands up and knew that he shouldn't do that," Maguire told Sky Sports after the end of the match.
"It was soft because it's probably not ending up in a goal, they've been given a penalty and got an amazing opportunity to take the lead."
Former Manchester United players were however critical of Pogba's handball as Gary Neville, who was on commentary duty for Sky Sports, called the moment as embarrassing, studio pundit Patrice Evra said he should have taken the hit in the face rather than stopping it with his hands.
"All United fans would like to see Paul bleeding," Evra told Sky Sports. "As soon as I saw Paul stand up with no blood, I knew he used his hands.
"It is difficult to forgive Paul on this one. He made a big big mistake. Paul knows and we have VAR (Video Assistant Referee)," he added.
Courtesy of this draw and Chelsea losing 3-5 to Liverpool, Manchester United have risen to third on the Premier League table. They need at least a draw in their final league match against Leicester City to guarantee their place in Champions League next season.