Jose Mourinho again hit out at the “specialists” following Manchester United’s victory over Benfica on Tuesday night.
United are on the brink of reaching the Champions League knock-out phase after Mile Svilar’s own goal and a late Daley Blind spot-kick secured a 2-0 win against Benfica – despite Anthony Martial’s missed penalty in the first half.
There was confusion in the build-up to the Holland international wrapping up victory, with Mourinho stopping Lukaku from taking a spot-kick – denying him the chance to end a goalless streak for the club stretching back to September 30.
The United boss has felt that run has led some fans to get on the back of a player he believes everyone should see as “untouchable” – not that his lofty status stopped him from giving the penalty to Blind and making a chatting gesture after it.
Mourinho claimed not to remember his chatting hand gesture after the goal, but it would be easy to perceive it as another jibe at the doubters.
The United boss used his programme notes to get in a dig at the supporters he felt did not fully back his side in Saturday’s win against Tottenham, while his post-match interview with BT Sport saw him take aim at “specialists”.
“We didn’t qualify yet? Not yet,” he said, having apparently not heard that CSKA Moscow had won in Basel to delay United’s inevitable progress.
“Four victories and it’s not enough, so we must get that point. Two matches, we must get that one.
“You know, it’s better for the specialists to comment on the game than for me to give my opinion.
“I am paid to work and to do my best, which I do everyday, and the specialists they are paid to comment on my work so let them comment.
“I’m more than happy. We changed a lot of players, we broke the natural dynamic of the team and the routines of the team.
“We played a kid from the academy (Scott McTominay), we scored two, didn’t concede. Three more points, (up to) 12, more money for the club because every victory means money.
“No significant injuries, just something in Jesse (Lingard)’s back but nothing important. I’m more than happy.”
Benfica have yet to muster a point after four matches, but head coach Rui Vitoria was pleased by their display in Manchester.
“I am disappointed with the result but happy with the performance,” he said. “My team showed great personality.
“We just played against one of the best teams in Europe and we performed quite well, we looked them eye to eye.”