Manchester United's Marouane Fellaini struck a controversial stoppage-time victor to bring blessed relief to Old Trafford after a laboured 1-0 win over Young Boys edged them into the last 16 of the Champions League yesterday.
Lukaku eventually came on in every game, with United underperforming, though he failed to score.
"The most important thing is to qualify and for some of my lovers, and those that like stats, I am 14 seasons in the Champions League and 14 times my teams have qualified through to the group stages", Mourinho told BT Sport.
"My players were really exhausted at the end and that's what we wanted: it means they gave everything". He saw it. He made his decision.
"So in 16 years, 14 times I qualify and twice I play Europa League and I won". That I was angry. "I would invite that people to sit on the bench as managers", the United boss said. "I don't think it was really aimed as much at us as individuals", Shaw said. Together we have to move forward and take the points.
"It was just like 10 minutes and from then on it opened something in myself, like a new fire to go and get what's mine".
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Fellaini's goal was the hosts' first home goal in Europe this season. He sure has been a successful coach.
Mourinho bristled when quizzed about that selection before kick-off and pointed to onlookers "always asking" him to play Marcus Rashford - a player who missed a fine chance in the opening minutes and numerous more over the course of the night.
"And then you ask, "Why is he not playing?' You put me in hard situations with hard questions, you go always, but you could be nice to me and say, 'Jose tonight you play Marcus Rashford as a nine" and I could go from there". The guy was tough - I was doing everything so well but he was still tough.
It is understood that De Gea is keeping his options open and United have not given up hope of persuading him to sign another long-term contract.
" The best attacking teams in the world play attacking football".
Asked why Mourinho was like that with him, Lukaku added: "Because he wanted me to be better".
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