Romelu Lukaku has moved to clarify his astonishing accusation that some of his Manchester United team-mates were ‘hiding’ during their 2-1 Champions League defeat to Sevilla.
The Belgian striker, who scored what proved to be a late consolation goal at Old Trafford, caused a stir by saying ‘something were flawed with some players, some players were hiding’ in a post-match interview with BT Sport.
However, Lukaku insists he meant that some of his team-mates were hiding their faces in the dressing room afterwards, rather than in their performance on the pitch.
In an Instagram post, Lukaku wrote: ‘Never will I criticise my teammates! Hiding your face when you’re upset in the dressing room is normal…
‘The result is terrible but we’re @manchesterunited we will bounce back for sure with your support!
‘Another big game coming up time to prepare for that one! 200 Goals now in my young career but it’s time to add trophies in my career… time to work even harder.’
Lukaku’s 84th-minute goal was too little, too late after Wissam Ben Yedder had come off the bench to score twice and earn Sevilla a stunning victory.
The Spanish club, who held United goalless in the first leg, progress to the quarter-finals of the leading European competition for the first time since 1958.
Clearly smarting from the loss, Lukaku told BT Sport: ‘Some things were flawed with some players, some players were hiding. The deception was really big, because you know I think we started the game well, and then we started to let them have control in the game.
‘Then we had a few half chances but we didn’t really score, and then they scored the first goal.
‘From that moment on we tried to chase the game and they scored the second one which was a big blow. At the end, we kept pushing but it was not enough.
‘We should have done better because the bit of quality we have in the team, we should have gone through. We didn’t deserve it because we weren’t good enough.’