Manchester United's Paul Pogba Woes Might Not Be Over Just yet After Seeing Red

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba could see his ban extended after applauding referee Andre Marriner when he was sent off in Saturday's (December 2) victory over Arsenal.

Marriner showed Pogba a straight red card in the 74th minute at the Emirates Stadium following a reckless challenge on Hector Bellerin. Pogba will now miss the Manchester derby against Pep Guardiola's league leader on December 10.

But Jose Mourinho could be without one of his most important players for more than three games—the usual length of punishment for a straight red card—after Pogba appeared to clap his hands sarcastically as he walked off the pitch.

The Football Association will decide whether extra punishment is needed once it receives Marriner's report from the game on Monday. It is thought that Pogba may escape an extended ban as he was walking away from the referee as he applauded.

Mourinho will already be without Pogba for one of the busiest weeks of the calendar. United hosts Manchester City at Old Trafford, as well as Bournemouth three days later, and then the team travels to the Hawthorns to take on West Bromwich Albion on December 17.

Should the FA decide to add to Pogba's punishment, he would also miss the trip to Leicester City on December 23, and not return until after Christmas.

Paul Pogba Sent Off
Paul Pogba at Emirates Stadium, London, December 2. Pogba's ban could be extended due to clapping after he was sent off against Arsenal on Saturday. Julian Finney/Getty

His importance to Mourinho's team has been made clear through a lengthy absence this season. Pogba was sidelined for little over two months after suffering a hamstring injury in the Champions League in September, at which time Manchester United was level on points with City at the top of the table.

By the time he returned to action on November 18, United was already eight points adrift of its neighbor. Pogba has helped United win all four of the Premier League games he has featured in since his comeback, including the action-packed win in north London.

Two mistakes by Arsenal within the first 11 minutes saw a clinical United team take an early 2-0 lead, with goals from Antonio Valencia and Jesse Lingard. Alexandre Lacazette's strike four minutes into the second half rallied Arsenal but Lingard's second, just after the hour mark, ensured United would take all three points north.

Speaking after the game, Mourinho said that Pogba had been unhappy with his fellow countryman Laurent Koscielny due to his reaction before he was sent off.

"I didn't see the red card [incident]," Mourinho said. "I was not even looking in that direction. No television yet for me. I just know that Paul is frustrated and a bit disappointed with this colleague, Koscielny, with this kind of reaction. He is very frustrated because everybody knows that Paul is a clean player and it was not his intention, not at all, to be close to a red card."

It was Pogba's first red card since May 2013, the final game of his first season at Juventus, when he was dismissed for spitting at Palermo's Salvatore Aronica.

City, meanwhile, maintained its eight-point cushion at the top of the Premier League by beating David Moyes' Everton 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday—it was City's third successive 2-1 win.