Jose Mourinho explains Romelu Lukaku penalty decision in Man United’s 2-0 win over Benfica

The Manchester United manager confirms he was responsible for Daley Blind taking their second-half penalty ahead of Romelu Lukaku

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho Photo: The Sport Review

Jose Mourinho has revealed that it was his decision to get Daley Blind to take Manchester United’s second-half penalty in Tuesday night’s 2-0 win against Benfica.

The Red Devils missed a first-half spot-kick when Anthony Martial’s was denied from the spot by Benfica’s teenage goalkeeper Mile Svilar.

Manchester United finally made the breakthrough on the stroke of half-time after Nemanja Matic’s strike rebounded of Svilar and into the Benfica goal.

Mourinho turned to Marcus Rashford with 15 minutes to go as the Red Devils boss looked to put the result beyond doubt.

The England striker’s brilliant run earned Manchester United their second penalty of the night but there was confusion over the taker with Martial substituted for Rashford.

Romelu Lukaku initally assumed responsibility before Ander Herrera took the ball of the summer signing despite the striker looking to end a three-game goal drought.

Eventually, Blind was appointed as the penalty taker and the Netherlands international dispatched his penalty with aplomb to seal three points.

Naturally the decision to give the penalty to Blind ahead of Lukaku prompted some surprise from ex-Manchester United legends Paul Scholes and Dimitar Berbatov in the BT Sport studios.

And Mourinho confirmed it was his decision to hand the responsibility to former Ajax defender Blind.

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

“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.

“Marital 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.”

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