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Mourinho 'blames' Chelsea defeat on Lukaku’s reluctance to start

May 19, 2018 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
The Portuguese manager was critical of his target man for asking to stay on the bench prior to the start of the FA Cup Final.

Romelu Lukaku faced a late fitness test after suffering an ankle injury back in April but was cleared to feature in Saturday’s FA Cup final. The 25-year-old Belgian saw his side fall to a 1-0 defeat at Wembley after starting from the bench and only played a role in the encounter after the 73rd minute.

Nevertheless, according to Jose Mourinho, the decision to sideline his side’s top goalscorer in the competition was not his but rather the forward’s.

"It's not difficult decision. It was an easy decision," the Manchester United manager stated in his post-match interview.

"When a player tells you he's not ready to play, that he's not ready to start the game, then the question is how many minutes do you think you can?

"How can I convince a player that is not ready to play?

"I knew the opponent I was going to play against. I knew they have a compact low block with lots of physicalities where they try to close everything. I knew without a target man it would be difficult for us.

"I knew at least Fellaini coming from the second line, attacking their second line with his physicality would be difficult.

"I wouldn't expect that the game was exactly like it was. I think it was a bit too much," he added.

Saturday’s defeat to Chelsea was Jose Mourinho’s first in an English domestic final.

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