Stretchered off against Southampton

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho makes his point

"The boy is tired".

"Against Leicester we felt that it could be an extra motivation for him (Pogba) and that was it, there was no special decision", Mourinho said.

Mourinho's replies were terse in his post-match interviews, with United's coach focusing his unhappiness on referee Craig Pawson's failure to award a penalty for a handball against Southampton defender Maya Yoshida.

Dusan Tadic had a sniff at goal on 71 minutes as he got on the end of Sofiane Boufal's clipped cross from the right, but he couldn't keep his header down.

Boos rang out at the full-time whistle at Old Trafford as the Red Devils once again lost further ground on their title rivals Manchester City.

"It's related to the game", came the reply.

The loss of Lukaku comes as an added blow to Mourinho, who earlier confirmed Zlatan Ibrahimovic would miss a month of action with a knee injury.

The Saints have just one win in 11 games, but manager Mauricio Pellegrino revealed that he had been studying United's performance against Burnley in the hope of pulling off a similar success.

And while Mourinho remains uncertain of the extent of Lukaku's issue, he does not expect to have him available for Monday's trip to Everton or the FA Cup clash with Derby County. 'Return to play' rules regarding player concussion were introduced at the start of the 2014/15 season. Excuses are made freely and often, even where equilibrium exists.

His injury continued a difficult period for Lukaku, who has scored just four times in his last 19 appearances for Jose Mourinho's side. In the King Power Stadium, with the pain of Leicester City's late equalizer still raw, José Mourinho stared incredulously at his inquisitor and snarled back without pausing.

Mourinho says Lukaku cannot be rested at the minute. In the Belgian's absence, they lacked an outlet from open play. "Of course I think it was a penalty".

The question was harmless enough but the response was revealing. Replays showed that the goal-bound effort did not even require the France international's touch. "What do you mean the armband?"

Southampton will kick off at Old Trafford on the back of a 5-2 Wembley defeat by Tottenham on Boxing Day.

The visitors improved after the break and matched the attacking forays of their hosts.

It was a gamble which paid off as Southampton kept their first clean sheet in 12 games.

If United fans thought it would get better than the two wins in the last seven, they might not have realised that they only have Martial and Rashford left to fill that lone front man role.

"In six months or one year's time, maybe we can talk about if to sell Virgil was positive or not".

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