Paul Pogba held his nerve to help Manchester United to a 2-1 win over West Ham, but he admits the Red Devils “didn’t play well”.
Two penalties converted by a World Cup-winning midfielder saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side to a narrow win at Old Trafford.
It had threatened to be another frustrating afternoon at one stage for a side that headed into a meeting with the Hammers on the back of four defeats in their last five outings.
Pogba got them off to a positive start inside 19 minutes, only to see Felipe Anderson restore parity early in the second half and the visitors come close to taking the lead.
United eventually got over the line but had to wait until 10 minutes from time before earning another spot kick and the opportunity to secure a welcome victory in their bid for a top-four finish.
Reflecting on the game afterwards, Pogba told BT Sport: “It was really open but we didn’t play well.
“With the chances and space we had, maybe we played too slow.
“We will have to fix that, we learn from that and focus on next one
“I can’t explain if we are tired from the Champions League game but we have to rest now for Tuesday.”
United had been in midweek European action against Barcelona, with a 1-0 defeat suffered in the first leg of a heavyweight quarter-final clash.
They failed to muster a shot on target in that game, having previously come unstuck against Wolves and put in a performance Solskjaer branded “sloppy” against Watford.
Pogba helped to get them back on track against West Ham, with the Frenchman deserting his usual penalty run up to crash home two fierce drives from 12 yards.
He said of those efforts: “What matters is to put the ball inside [the net] that’s all, maybe I tricked the keeper but all that is important is the three points today.
“I think we had the luck, you always have to take it, sometime it is for the other team but we took it today.”
Quizzed on whether United can kick on from this point to finish inside the top four and book a return ticket to the Champions League for 2019-20, Pogba said: “Of course.”
The Red Devils have the second leg of a continental clash with Barcelona to take in on Tuesday before then taking in a run of Premier League games against Everton, Manchester City and Chelsea.