Mourinho reveals exactly why Lukaku didn't start FA Cup final defeat
He had been struggling with an injury.
Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Romelu Lukaku told him he was not fit enough to start the FA Cup final defeat to Chelsea.
The Belgian striker took his place among the substitutes before eventually coming on with 20 minutes remaining, having failed to sufficiently recover from the ankle injury that has kept him out since the end of April.
Mourinho opted to start Marcus Rashford in the central striking role, flanked by Alexis Sanchez and Jesse Lingard. However, the young England international struggled to make an impression on a resolute Chelsea defence.
Indeed, without Lukaku, United lacked a focal point in attack and looked a bit directionless at times, especially in the first half, but Mourinho's hands were tied after Lukaku's pre-match admission.
"When a player tells you he is not ready to play when the player tells you he is not ready to start the game, then the question is how many minutes you think you can," Mourinho said.
"But how can I convince a player who tells me he is not ready to play? That makes no sense.
"It was not a difficult decision, was an easy decision. I knew the opponent I was going to play against, I knew they have a compact low-block [in midfield] with lots of physicality where they try to close everything, I knew without a target man it would be difficult for us and knew at least Fellaini coming from the second line but attacking their defensive line with his physicality, I knew that would be difficult.
"But I wouldn't expect that the game was exactly like it was. That's why."
Is he right? https://t.co/AAEbbWm8EP
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) May 19, 2018