Jose Mourinho revealed he did not consider starting Paul Pogba in Manchester United’s loss to Liverpool as he deflected criticism of Romelu Lukaku’s anonymous display.

France star Pogba watched from the bench for the second league match in succession as United slumped to a 3-1 defeat that leaves them 19 points adrift of top spot and 11 shy of fourth-place Chelsea.

Asked whether the £89million midfielder was considered for a place in the starting XI, Mourinho said: “No.”

Pressed as to why, he added: “Because I am happy with [Nemanja] Matic, Lingard and [Ander] Herrera.”

Mourinho was also satisfied with Lukaku despite the striker managing no shots and tallying only 20 touches.

The misfiring Belgium international boats just six goals in his 22 club appearances this season.

“I think he didn’t have a bad game at all. I think he fought hard, he had good movement, he set up the goal,” the United boss said.


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