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Jose Mourinho: Why I wanted to replace Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Jesse Lingard after only 20 minutes


Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho says he would have made more substitutions at half-time had he had the opportunity.

The Red Devils endured a very disappointing first half against rivals Manchester City at Old Trafford.

Midfielders Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Jesse Lingard were far from their very best and did not finish the game after the Portuguese decided to replace them with Marcus Rashford and Ander Herrera.

"Look, honestly, I had two or three players in the first half who, if the game was played now and I know what is going to happen, then I wouldn't play them," Mourinho said after the game.

"But this is football and sometimes players, they disappoint managers, and sometimes players, they give us great surprises.

"I thought because of the characteristics of the game we could hurt them playing with some individuals with some qualities, they didn't give what I want. Is it their fault? Is it my fault? It's my fault because I'm the manager and it's always my fault because it's always my choice.

"It was not just about them [Mkhitaryan and Lingard].

"Other players were also not playing really well and obviously, as well as my decision, I don't like to go in the direction of singling out players. Let's say our team didn't play well in the first-half and their responsibilities are my responsibilities.

"I didn't change after 20 minutes because I don't want to destroy the players.

"I didn't want to make three changes at half-time because I was afraid in a long 45 minutes something might happen, but if it was a sport in free number of changes and with changes during the first-half is normal, like basketball, I would do after 20 minutes."

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Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Jesse Lingard, Jose Mourinho