Romelu Lukaku did not celebrate his goal against former team West Brom due to his love for the club, according to Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho.
Lukaku opened the scoring in United's 2-1 win at The Hawthorns on Sunday, heading home Marcus Rashford's left-wing cross.
But the Belgium international refused to celebrate his 10th Premier League goal of the season despite being mobbed by team-mates, leading to post-match criticism from television pundits Gary Neville and Jamie Redknapp.
And Mourinho defended Lukaku, who scored his first Premier League goals at West Brom in a successful loan spell from Chelsea as a teenager.
"I didn't celebrate too - and nobody was happier than me," Mourinho told Sky Sports.
"I'm happy with the victory but, 15 years ago, I look at myself - how I used to celebrate goals. With maturity you control your emotions better. Unless you score a winning goal in the last stage of the game.
"But basically, Romelu had the fact he was a happy kid at West Brom. He was given the conditions to have the evolution he had, so maybe at the back of the mind it was his love for the club."
West Brom remain winless in four league games under new boss Alan Pardew, although they at least scored the first goal of his reign thanks to Gareth Barry's consolation.
And the former Newcastle and Crystal Palace manager accepted responsibility for his side's 2-1 defeat to second-placed United, with West Brom having lacked energy prior to a strong finish.
"Better shape to the team, better legs a little bit," Pardew told Sky Sports when asked why United had run out winners.
"The team I picked - in hindsight it wasn't the right team and I should have put some fresher legs in. They had put in such a shift at Liverpool [in Wednesday's 0-0 draw] and I wanted to show faith in them, as their new manager.
"But maybe I should have made two or three changes. We looked leggy and not up to the ball. But in the second half we were a lot better and had a lot more conviction in our play.
"We had a full stadium, playing Manchester United, and we didn't ever get the crowd going. The crowd, quite rightly, were fairly quiet today and that was down to us. When you're at home, you've got to generate more excitement - more moments - than we did today.
"We've got to take risks - you can't play this game unless you take risks. We just had a lack of energy and, as I say, I've got to take some blame for that."
|Southampton 3 Arsenal 2: Austin and Ings end Gunners´ long unbeaten run|
|Brighton and Hove Albion 1 Chelsea 2: Sensational Hazard proves the difference|
|Pogba on the bench as Clyne starts for Liverpool|
|Lipsky ends long barren spell in Malelane|
|Lakers´ Stephenson to repeat air guitar despite technical|
|Fletcher pushed Miller on to Broncos sack record|
|The Sarri effect: Hazard surpasses 2017-18 goal involvements in just 16 games|
|Van der Burgh retires on a high note with breaststroke double|
|Rashford: Liverpool was never an option|
|No team Liverpool play this season will be as motivated as Man United – Klopp|
|India surprised by contentious Kohli decision - Bumrah|
|The Sunday Seven - 7 Key Opta facts for NFL Week 15|
|Miller eyeing Joshua bout at Madison Square Garden|
|Finch cleared of serious damage after another finger blow|
|Rashford ´untouchable´ because he plays on his limits – Mourinho|
|It´s important to have his mentality - Mayfield thrilled with Kobe Bryant visit as Browns beat Bronc|
|Centurion Latham indebted to ´world-class´ Williamson|
|Spurs´ Dier out until January after appendix removal|
|A-League Review: Glory down Jets to stay unbeaten|
|Philander ruled out of first Test|
|Controversial Kohli dismissal puts Australia in command|
|Thunder´s Westbrook: ´When we defend like that — best team in the league´|
|Kante at his best further forward, reiterates Sarri|
|Rose capitulates in Indonesia to squander chance to top rankings|
|Fielding: The better man won but I lived a dream|
|Rallying Bulls stun Spurs, LeBron and Ball post triple-doubles|
|Latham century puts New Zealand in commanding position|
|Mayfield leads Browns past Broncos|
|Canelo-GGG trilogy? We can make it happen – Alvarez|
|Canelo outclasses Fielding by third-round TKO|
|Farmer retains title prior to Canelo-Fielding bout|
|Qatar unveils Lusail Stadium for 2022 World Cup|
|Lakers pair LeBron, Ball revel in triple-double feat|
|Allegri hails ´great professional´ Ronaldo|
|LeBron, Ball first Lakers team-mates with triple-doubles in same game since 1982|
|Premier League contenders Liverpool ready to win titles – Henderson|
|Hopkins´ two TDs help Texans close in on AFC South title with win over Jets|
|Courtois: Simeone criticises Real Madrid to boost popularity|
|Mourinho in the dark over transfers as Pogba rumours swirl again|
|Mourinho marvels at Salah going nuclear|
|The lucky ones - Mourinho assesses Liverpool´s title charge|
|Juventus boss Allegri turned his back on Ronaldo penalty|
|Dickerson hoping Barkley falls short of breaking his records|
|Bristol shock La Rochelle, Clermont win again|
|LeBron: Meeting Jordan for first time was godly|
|Ronaldo scores Juventus´ 5,000th Serie A goal|
|I was all over the place - Allen reaches Scottish Open final despite hangovers|
|Solari defends wasteful Asensio after slim Madrid win|
|Torino 0 Juventus 1: Ronaldo capitalises on Zaza woe|
|I do my work on the pitch – Icardi unconcerned by Inter contract discussions|
|Lyon defender Rafael set for three months out|
|Inter captain Icardi is the ´perfect´ striker – Spalletti|
|Fulham have to stick together, says Ranieri|
|Nuno hails ´very special´ Wolves achievement after third straight win|
|Stuttgart captain Gentner´s father dies at Hertha fixture|
|Valverde not desperate for new centre-back amid talk of Christensen loan|
|Toulouse and Saracens stay perfect in Champions Cup|
|Kovac lauds Bayern´s best performance of the season|
|Barcelona can get the best out of Coutinho and Dembele, claims Valverde|
|Borussia Dortmund 2 Werder Bremen 1: Alcacer and Reus guarantee top spot for mid-season break|
|Bristol City 2 Norwich City 2: Canaries knocked off their perch despite late equaliser|
|Atletico´s fighting spirit lauded by Simeone, Godin|
|Hodgson relieved to see Palace end Zaha curse|
|Real Madrid 1 Rayo Vallecano 0: Benzema secures steady response to CSKA loss|
|Fulham 0 West Ham 2: Snodgrass, Antonio punish profligate hosts|
|Warnock brands refereeing situation ´a disgrace´ after Watford defeat|
|Inter 1 Udinese 0: Icardi penalty gets lethargic Nerazzurri back on track|
|Wagner retains belief in survival bid despite Newcastle defeat|
|Griezmann feeling the strain after busy 2018|
|Pochettino ´so pleased´ as tired Tottenham scrap to Burnley win|