Manchester United manager, Jose Mourinho, has publicly apologized for substituting Henrikh Mkhitaryan, after the first half of their 2-0 win over Derby County in the FA Cup on Friday.
Mourinho revealed after the game, that he said sorry to the Armenian in front of the entire squad.
Mkhitaryan, 28, was handed just his second start in two months against the Championship side at Old Trafford on Friday.
But he lasted just 45 minutes before he was replaced with Romelu Lukaku, who scored the second goal in a 2-0 win.
However, Mourinho said afterwards his decision had been “unfair.”
He told a news conference: “I didn’t like what I did, unfair, he didn’t deserve.
“He was playing well, he was not playing bad, he had a couple of mis-possessions, but he was giving a good dynamic to the team and my feeling was that [Marcus] Rashford is not going to score a goal and because of that I am not going to lose time and I am going to play Romelu and I am going to sacrifice a player and Mkhi was the one I sacrificed.
“But it is not something I normally do and at half-time I apologised to him in front of the people because he didn’t deserve it.”
In Mkhitaryan’s absence, Lukaku came off the bench to score his first goal in five games.
Mourinho’s tactical switch paid off, when Lukaku set up Jesse Lingard to score in the 84th minute. Lukaku himself then got a goal of his own six minutes later, to ensure United progressed into the next round of the FA Cup.
“Unfair. I had to sacrifice a player. I apologised to him in front of the players,” Mourinho told reporters.