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Scholes & Berbatov Not Impressed With Romelu Lukaku After Penalty Incident

Mikey Traynor
By Mikey Traynor
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Manchester United need just a single point from their final two Champions League group stage games to reach the last sixteen after a 2-0 win at home to Benfica on Tuesday night.

While Anthony Martial impressed from the start, and Marcus Rashford made an impact from the bench, Romelu Lukaku did not enjoy his finest night in a Man Utd jersey as he struggled to hold onto the ball throughout the 90 minutes.


That said, when Rashford was taken down in the penalty area in the second half, it looked as if the big Belgian was about to have a chance to end his run of five games without a goal. Lukaku grabbed the ball initially, but then gave the ball to Ander Herrera - who then gave the ball to Daley Blind - after manager Jose Mourinho made his preference clear.

In the BT Sport studio after the final whistle, Paul Scholes and Dimitar Berbatov both admitted that they wanted to see the striker throw his weight around and take the penalty regardless.

Scholes: He has to demand it himself. I don't know if he's short on confidence... I don't know, but six games [without a goal], he gets that ball he pushes everybody out of the way 'I'm taking this and I'm getting on the score-sheet'.

Berbatov: You have to say... Ok, I'm not going to say it [on live TV] but take the ball, push them away; 'This is my goal, I need to score. I need this because I need the confidence back'.

Then afterwards you can see he was a bit lost for confidence the way he was jogging towards the penalty box, not sprinting, he was jogging, losing that will to score because this was his moment and something happened.

I don't know if the manager chose who was going to take the penalty-kick, but still.

It's possibly a bit harsh, as Lukaku was obeying his manager's instructions and was one of the first players in to congratulate Daley Blind when the penalty was scored, but if Zlatan Ibrahimovic was on the pitch would Daley Blind have even been allowed over the half-way line once the ref blew his whistle?

Mourinho confirmed after the game that Blind was his choice based on what he had seen in training, but after defending Romelu Lukaku from criticism that may or may not exist at the weekend, it's strange he didn't want him to end his slightly concerning run when given a clear chance.



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