Jose Mourinho is no stranger to digging out specific players for their poor performances, and this time it was Marcus Rashford who has had the Portuguese guns turned upon him.
The 20-year-old was afforded a rare start as a central striker following the injury to Romelu Lukaku, who sustained an ankle injury in last weekend’s game against Arsenal.
Despite being given the chance to play in his most natural and favoured position, Rashford, who recently bagged a brace against Liverpool, failed to impress against newly promoted Brighton.
The worst moment of his game came in the first half after he had expertly won the ball back from the dawdling Brighton defence, but with Anthony Martial free in space in the penalty area, Rashford inexplicably decided not to play the Frenchman in and ultimately lost the ball.
Speaking after the game, Jose Mourinho said that Rashford’s performance justified his decision to play Romelu Lukaku in virtually every game when fit.
He said: “I thought for some of them the possibility to start a game, the possibility to give reason to the ones that during the season there is criticism to my choices -‘Why always Lukaku?’.
“You have the answer why always Lukaku.”
He added: “Now you see why some players don’t play all the time.
“Maybe now you will not ask questions why some are not playing every week.”