KEIR RADNEDGE at WEMBLEY: Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho congratulated Chelsea on their victory by 1-0 in the FA Cup Final but the sharpest issue left hanging in the air of defeat was Romelu Lukaku’s decision that he was not fit to start the game.
Mourinho’s initial line-up, with Marcus Rashford leading the line and the Belgian World Cup centre-forward on the substitutes bench was a surprise – and probably a happy one for Chelsea.
United’s manager said: “When a player tells you he is not ready to start a game then it is a question of how many minutes can he play? How can I convince a player who tells you he is not ready to play?”
Mourinho emphasised the damaging absence of Lukaku in explaining his match strategy.
He said: “I knew the opponent I was going to play against. I knew they have a compact block with lots of physicality where they try to close everything. I also knew that without a target man it would be difficult for us.
“We controlled possession and transitions really well and they only played long balls for Giroud to flick and Hazard to make individual actions.
“So, when you play against a team who are so predictable, I thought we wouldn’t concede any goals but Hazard is a very good player and he created a penalty.”