Luke Shaw.

Why Jose Mourinho substituted Luke Shaw at half-time against Brighton

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Manchester United are through to the semi-final of the FA Cup but their performance in a 2-0 win over Brighton did little to ease growing concerns around the club.

Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic scored the goals but stats were very telling.

Brighton, still striving for Premier League survival, had 17 shots compared to Man United’s eight and the Red Devils managed just two shots on target in 90 minutes.

It was an unconvincing display from Jose Mourinho’s side; Old Trafford is certainly accustomed to seeing more excitement.

Much of the focus heading into the game surrounded Mourinho and his 12-minute rant on Friday.

He criticised his players once again after the Brighton win, saying most of his team lacked personality, class and desire, and his handling of one player in particular summed it up.

Luke Shaw, making his first start in more than a month, was subbed off at half-time despite appearing to do little wrong.

Mourinho has never seemingly been a huge Shaw supporter and this latest incident could spell the end for the left-back in Manchester.

Why was Shaw taken off?

But why was he taken off after 45 minutes? Mourinho admitted after the win that he wanted to be more aggressive - and that Shaw was vulnerable defensively.

"Is my decision," Mourinho said of Shaw's sub. "My reason behind them is that we work on the pitch a certain kind of movements which were really important the two full-backs to be aggressive and to be always in front and create space for Matic and Scott [McTominay] to play in front of the two central defenders and I didn't have that with Luke and Antonio Valencia.

"I didn't change both because was too aggressive to do it and then I have only one more change for 90 minutes and only if we go to extra-time I have the possibility of a fourth change, but to play with 45 minutes only with one more substitution to do was too aggressive, but to try to improve our offensive football and to be more aggressive I had to change one of them.

Manchester United v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League

"And I decide Luke because at least Antonio defensively was capable of some good positionings like in one of their more dangerous movements in the second-half where [Jurgen] Locadia made a diagonal run inside behind Eric Bailly, and Antonio is still capable like this.

“And Luke every time they went in his corridor the cross was coming and the dangerous situation was coming, so I was not happy with the performance."

This relationship clearly hasn’t worked.

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Premier League
Romelu Lukaku
Nemanja Matic
Manchester United
Jose Mourinho
England Football
Luke Shaw
Brighton & Hove Albion
FA Cup

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