Football: Lukaku, Matic send Man United into FA Cup semis but Mourinho slams team for having no personality

Lukaku (centre) celebrates scoring United's first goal with team mates.
Lukaku (centre) celebrates scoring United's first goal with team mates.PHOTO: AFP

MANCHESTER, England (REUTERS) - Headers by Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic earned Manchester United an unconvincing 2-0 victory over Brighton in a low-key FA Cup quarter-final played in freezing conditions on Saturday (March 17).

Manager Jose Mourinho took aim at his players for a lacklustre performance, a day after he took on his critics in a news conference diatribe.

The Portuguese had made little direct criticism of his team after Tuesday's poor display in the Champions League defeat by Sevilla, or on Friday when he defended his work and questioned assumptions about United's heritage.

But this time his anger was firmly directed at the majority of his players.

"I didn't like the game. I think we deserved to win because I think the game was in control for the majority, we scored two and they didn't score, but we didn't play as I prepared the team to play," Mourinho told BT Sport.

He singled out midfielder Matic, who created the first goal for Lukaku and added the second himself with a late header, as one of the few players he was satisfied with.

"Many, many times Matic was an island of personality and desire and control, surrounded, not by water but by a lack of personality, class and desire," said the former Chelsea and Real Madrid manager.

As well as Matic, Mourinho praised young midfielder Scott McTominay, although even those words were peppered with criticism of others.

United, looking to make amends after their feeble Champions League showing, struggled to impose themselves against Brighton before Lukaku broke the deadlock by heading home Matic's cross at the far post after 37 minutes.

Brighton dominated possession in the second half and tested United goalkeeper Sergio Romero but Matic calmed the nerves around Old Trafford seven minutes from time when he stole in to nod Ashley Young's teasing free kick into the net.

United, bidding to win the FA Cup for the 13th time, joined Tottenham Hotspur in the last four.

Leicester play Chelsea and third-tier Wigan face Southampton in the other quarter-finals on Sunday.