Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho says that Romelu Lukaku’s decision not to start the FA Cup final clash with Chelsea ultimately cost them the trophy.
The Belgian striker told Mourinho he was not fit to play 90 minutes after an ankle injury kept him out of the last three games of the season.
The United boss – who has spent almost £300m in two seasons, could not find a way past Chelsea without a target man in the form of either Lukaku or Marouane Fellaini.
Asked whether it was a difficult decision to leave the Belgian on the bench, Mourinho said: “It’s not difficult, it was his decision, it was his decision.
“I knew the opponent I was going to play against and I knew they have a compact low block with lots of physicality where they try to close everything.
“I knew that without a target man it would be difficult for us. I know at least [it would have helped having Marouane] Fellaini coming from the second line, attacking their defence with his physicality.
“I knew that would be difficult, but I wouldn’t expect that the game was exactly like it was because I think it was a bit too much.
“When a player tells you he’s not ready to play, not ready to start, then the question is, ‘How many minutes you think you can ?’ But how can I convince a player who is not ready? It’s nonsense.”
Who wants to tell him Newcastle beat Chelsea 3-0 last week with Dwight Gayle up front?