Romelu Lukaku has denied claims that his post-match comments after Manchester United were knocked out of the Champions League Round of 16 by Sevilla was a dig at his teammates.
Substitute Wissam Ben Yedder scored a quickfire brace late on as the La Liga side claimed a 2-1 win on Tuesday night and on aggregate after a first leg 0-0 stalemate to progress to their first ever quarter-finals.
Lukaku netted a consolation goal, his fifth of the European campaign, after the damage had already been done at Old Trafford before stating some United players were "hiding" in a TV interview.
Sevilla given too much respect
Speaking to BT Sport after full-time, Lukaku expressed his thoughts that "something was wrong with some players, some players were hiding."
José Mourinho took a defensive approach to the match, much to the frustration of the home fans, and many believe the three-time Champions League winners gave their opponents too much respect.
"I think we started the game well, but then we let them get a bit of control in the game. We had a few half-chances but we didn't score.
"Then they scored the first goal and from that moment on we tried to chase the game. Then they scored the second one which was a big blow. At the end we kept pushing, but it was not enough."
Failure to create chances United's killer
The result was labelled as, along the lines of, "one of the darkest nights in the club's long European history" and Lukaku rued his side's failure to put the tie to bed earlier.
"We should have done much better today because with the quality that we have in the team, I think we should have gone through. But we didn't deserve it because we weren't good enough.
"We should have scored earlier, I think maybe in the first half with the half-chances that we created. The last pass today was not good enough - we always get in the right position but the last pass to each other was not good enough and I think that's what killed us today."
Clarification on Instagram
Promptly after it was suggested that the Belgian striker had criticised his teammates' on-pitch performance, he took to his Instagram page to reassure the public he was speaking about reaction after the game.
United's no. 9, on 24 goals in his debut season in Manchester, insisted: "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 Manchester United. 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."
Manchester United must now turn their attention to the Emirates FA Cup for silverware this season and will hope bounce back strongly by booking their semi-final place on Saturday against Brighton & Hove Albion.