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Manchester United

Jose explains why Romelu Lukaku didn’t take penalty

Manchester United’s 2-0 victory over Benfica at Old Trafford this evening puts us on verge of qualifying for the Champions League second round.

An own goal from Mile Svilar on the stroke of half-time followed up by Daley Blind’s penalty inside the final 15 minutes secured our fourth victory in as many games in this season’s competition.

Anthony Martial won and took a penalty on 15 minutes only to see his weak effort denied by the 18-year-old Benfica goalkeeper.

The French international had been replaced by Marcus Rashford, who won our second penalty before Daley Blind stepped up to convert it.

Romelu Lukaku had initially grabbed the ball after Rashford had won the penalty on his 20th birthday.  However, Ander Herrera and Daley Blind had a word with the striker before the Dutch international took control of the situation, blasting the ball down the middle and into the back of the net.

Speaking after the game, Jose Mourinho told BT Sport why Romelu Lukaku took neither of our penalties:

“Anthony Martial was the player to take penalties. He took it and missed, he was not on the pitch for the second one.

“The players were happy to take the responsibility, Romelu Lukaku and Ander Herrera but my choice was Daley Blind. That is my decision.

“We train, I analyse, I try to make the right decisions. Martial did not miss one and was taking them in training against three good goalkeepers, sometimes the choice is not the right one. Daley was my decision in the moment.”

Manchester United were not at their best tonight which included David de Gea making two excellent saves to deny Diego Goncalves from the visitors.  Chris Smalling also beat Raul Jimenez to the ball to strike the outside of his own post to deny the Mexican striker a one-on-one.

We return to domestic action with a trip to Stamford Bridge on Sunday in the Premier League.  Chelsea were hammered 3-0 at AS Roma this evening.  The Blues are the first English side to lose in the Champions League so far this season and end Tuesday evening as the only Premier League side not top of their group.