Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has explained why he chose Daley Blind over Romelu Lukaku as the taker of the side’s second penalty in their 2-0 win over Benfica in the Champions League last night.
Anthony Martial had already missed from the spot in the contest by the time that the Red Devils – then leading by a goal – were awarded a second penalty of the evening after Marcus Rashford was tripped by Andreas Samaris.
Lukaku looked as if he was in line to take the kick, only to then walk away in apparent dejection as Blind instead smashed home for his side’s second of the contest.
“I am paid to take decisions – good or bad,” Mourinho told reporters when quizzed about the incident after the game. “In the first half the decision was bad because the player I chose to take the penalty missed.
“In the second half I made another decision and I don’t see the drama. The penalty taker for this match was Martial, he took it in the first half and missed and he was not even on the pitch for the second one.
“Then I have to make a decision. Romelu wants to take, he had the personality to take the responsibility, [Ander] Herrera the same but my decision, based on what we did in training in the past couple of days, was Blind. The players respected my decision and that is it – end of story.”
The result left United, who have a perfect record in Group A, just one point away from securing qualification to the last 16.