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Thursday 20 September 2018

Rom' fans flames but earns Jose praise

Jose backs Rom' amid goal sulk

Romelu Lukaku fails to celebrate after opening the scoring for Manchester United at West Brom yesterday
Romelu Lukaku fails to celebrate after opening the scoring for Manchester United at West Brom yesterday

Jose Mourinho is not reading anything into Romelu Lukaku's refusal to celebrate his goal in Manchester United's 2-1 win at West Brom.

The Belgian, who has come in for criticism for his performances against United's rivals at the top of the table, headed the opener at The Hawthorns.

Mourinho said: "I didn't celebrate too and nobody was happier than me."

Lukaku spent a successful season on loan at West Brom in 2012-2013 and Mourinho added: "I think also Romelu had the fact he was a happy kid at West Bromwich Albion."

However, Sky pundit and former United captain Gary Neville echoed the sentiments of thousands of social media users by criticising the Belgian for his failure to celebrate.

CELEBRATE

Neville said: "He needs to celebrate, he absolutely does.

"Celebrate with those fans behind the goal, endear yourself to them."

United did enough with their first-half display to earn the victory, with Jesse Lingard's deflected shot making it 2-0 before the Baggies improved after the break and pulled one back through Gareth Barry.

Mourinho said: "I think we deserved it, I think we were the best team.

"I think we controlled the game for a long time.

"Probably the intensity we had in the first half we didn't have in the second, but I don't think concentration (was a problem). "They (West Brom) are really powerful in the air, they have giants, they have aggressive people."

Mourinho vowed United will fight for the title until the final game after their 2-1 win.

They closed the gap to Premier League leaders Manchester City to 11 points after securing back-to-back wins.

City beat Tottenham 4-1 on Saturday to record a 16th straight league win but United boss Mourinho refused to let them go.

He said: "I know that the questions are always coming in the same direction and I keep saying the same.

"Last match in the Premier League, Watford at Old Trafford, mid-May, and until then every match we go.

QUESTION

"Every match we try to win. If you do that question to us and then you do it to the third and the fourth and to the fifth and to the sixth, probably they disappear. Probably they want to go on holidays.

"We don't want to go on holidays. We want to play until the last match."

Mourinho, who confirmed Antonio Valencia suffered a hamstring injury, also dismissed a video of Manchester City's players chanting - following their win over Spurs - about his side 'parking the bus' in a direct jibe to their rivals.

He added: "I didn't see, I didn't watch.

"I am not interested in doing that. You are the ones to make your evaluations, your comments. For me nothing."

West Brom boss Alan Pardew admitted he got his team selection wrong, saying he should have freshened it up after the midweek draw at Liverpool.

"The team I picked in hindsight was not the right team," he said. "I should have picked some fresh legs in there. I should have maybe made two or three changes.

"We just had a lack of energy and I have to take some blame for that."

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