Mourinho blasts pundits with barrage of Rashford statistics

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Pundits have previously claimed that Rashford, who scored twice for England over the worldwide break, does not see enough game-time at Old Trafford under the Portuguese coach.

The first half an hour was even as the two sides tested each other out - United probed but the home side looked unsafe on the break, confidence coursing through the players on the back of four straight wins.

"If you want to take the minutes of play, he played 3,068 minutes".

Lukaku, who scored three times while on global duty with Belgium, struck his fourth Premier League goal of the season in the 35th minute.

In the end, it took a dramatic last-minute save from David de Gea to seal the three points for United but considering Watford had won their first four games, the 2-1 away win was a very respectable result.

"He has still played a lot of football, although maybe not the continuous starts and I'm really pleased for him that he leaves here full of confidence".

"In the second half we decreased our intensity, then the goal happened, then the game is open", he added. "That is why I am going so specific about these numbers".

That said, he did start with a five-minute diatribe about Marcus Rashford that came perilously close to veering into a Rafa Benitez/Facts pastiche.

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"I think last season, Brighton away, Mourinho had a pop at him and Lukaku went straight back into the team". He played a total of 52 matches with 2,676 minutes.

"So the people who are speaking about these minutes, I think they are a bit confused".

The Manchester United boss also took an interesting shot at a trio of Chelsea youngsters who happened to at one time be England youth worldwide teammates of Rashford, seeming to subversively criticize Chelsea's sparing use of its youth products.

United, backed by their vocal travelling fans, who regularly chanted the name of Mourinho, were establishing a foothold in the game and made their pressure count in the 35th minute.

"Marcus Rashford is not Dominic Solanke, not Ruben Loftus-Cheek not Dominic Calvert Lewin, is Marcus Rashford, Man United player, with an incredible number of appearances and an incredible number of minutes played at the highest level in the best possible competitions".

"But it is not my fault, he's suspended, so probably you should remind them that he is suspended and can not play".

"I am very happy". I think that's the problem he has at Man United.

"They only thing I know is that [referee] Mike Dean was very good, the assistants were very good and [fourth official] Paul Tierney on the touchline was very good too", he said.