Rafa Benitez brushes aside Jose Mourinho compliments – and gives his verdict on Man United's Paul Pogba

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez has brushed off more compliments from old foe Jose Mourinho.

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho talked of his "huge respect" for longtime rival Benitez before Saturday's Premier League game.

And the Portuguese praised Benitez's "intelligence" after Newcastle United's 4-1 loss at Old Trafford.

READ MORE: Why is Jose Mourinho being so nice to Rafa Benitez at Newcastle?

Benitez's side had been the better team for 30 minutes – Dwight Gayle opened the scoring – but Man United, inspired by fit-again Paul Pogba, fought back before the break.

Asked about Mourinho's comments, Benitez said: “That is fine, but it doesn’t change anything.

"My feeling is that we did really well for 30 minutes, but we knew we could lose even if we were doing well. That's what happened."

Pogba, signed for £89million from Juventus last year, scored in the second half.

And Benitez was asked after the game if comparisons could be drawn between Pogba and Steven Gerrard, who he managed at Liverpool.

“No, they're different," said Benitez. "Stevie was a top-class player for so many years.

"He was very consistent and could make the difference in every game, with or without the ball. He was a top-class player.

"Pogba's a great player, but he still has to be consistent for years like Stevie was for 10 or 15 years."