Mourinho unsure if Lukaku will be fit for FA Cup final
Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho expressed concern that top-scorer Romelu Lukaku will miss next months FA Cup final against Chelsea due to a foot injury after limping out of his sides Premier League victory over Arsenal.
Lukaku was replaced by Marcus Rashford at the start of a second period which culminated in substitute Marouane Fellaini heading an injury-time winner after Henrikh Mkhitaryan had cancelled out Paul Pogbas first-half opener.
The win moved United five points clear of third-placed Liverpool and confirmed their place in next seasons Champions League, whereas Arsenal remain without an away Premier League point in 2018.
With Champions League qualification assured and a second-placed finish as good as, Uniteds remaining focus is the FA Cup final on 19 May, with 27-goal Lukakus potential absence a major concern.
When asked whether Lukaku was a doubt for the remainder of the season, Mourinho said: “I dont know. To be out is not okay. He wants to always play all the time. He is never tired, so when he has small things he doesnt care, he wants to go.
“To say immediately change is because he couldnt play. But, three more weeks until the final. I just know [the injury] is on the foot. I hope it is not something that keeps him out of a game in three weeks time but I dont know.”
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who was managing at Old Trafford for the 28th and final time against United, was presented with a commemorative vase by Sir Alex Ferguson before kick-off.
The Frenchman made eight changes to his starting XI and named the youngest side in this fixture since August 2011 – when the Gunners lost 8-2 – but insists the talent pool at the clubs disposal means a bright future beckons.
“My successor will watch this game and hopefully he comes to a positive conclusion because I think they are the future of Arsenal – some, 100 per cent,” said Wenger, who described the marking of his final match at Old Trafford by United as “classy”.
“The players are destroyed because they gave everything and were caught in the final minute. There were question marks if we would be strong enough to fight but the quality was good, the spirit was good, many players stood up.”
United opened the scoring on 16 minutes when Lukakus flighted cross was headed goalwards by former Gunner Alexis Sanchez, only for Hector Bellerin to deflect the ball onto the post, affording Pogba a tap in.
Arsenal levelled six minutes after the restart as messy midfield play by United allowed Granit Xhaka to find Mkhitaryan – a makeweight in the deal which took Sanchez to United – who fired low beyond David de Gea.
But United conjured a last-gasp winner as Fellaini flicked a backward header beyond Arsenals David Ospina from Ashley Youngs inswinging cross.