Jose Mourinho made a “masterstoke” in taking off Erik Lamela at half-time during his side’s resounding 6-1 win at Manchester United following his controversial incident with Anthony Martial.
During the first-half, France forward Martial was shown a red card for retaliating to an elbow from Tottenham’s Lamela, who only saw yellow for his actions.
Lamela dropped to the floor in theatrical fashion after a hand from Martial, and Spurs went on to lead 4-1 by half-time, no thanks to their man advantage.
United’s players were understandably fuming as they trudged in, but there would be no revenge, as Mourinho decided to hook Lamela before the second period.
An insider told The Athletic: “At half-time, the United players all knew Lamela had faked it. They were angry. Jose did a masterstroke to take him out.”
Solskjaer did not hold back in his criticism of Lamela at full-time, insisting he would not want his players to act the same to gain an advantage.
“For me of course two emotions on it really. Well done to Anthony for not going down and for not trying to con the referee to send Lamela off,” Solskjaer said.
“Anthony knows he cannot react like this, but it’s an absolute joke for me that a lad can go down like that.
“If that was my son he would live on water and bread for two weeks. That’s not how I want my players to react.”
Meanwhile, Mourinho claimed United were lucky to end with 10 men, though he admitted he had not yet seen the incident.
“I didn't watch it. For sure, for sure, for sure, Manchester United could have ended the match with eight players. For sure they could end the match with eight players.
“I can say because some of the reactions were not far from me and easy to see. But I agree with Anthony Taylor for not showing more red cards to them because it would be a disastrous situation for them.
“So for example, that Luke Shaw red card… ok that's a bit… The situation between Lamela, Pogba and Martial I don't know. I don't know.
“What I know is that before that we were winning, we were dominating, we were ultra confident. And that's the only thing that made the game easier. But the game was in our hands.”
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