Jose Mourinho has revealed Ander Herrera was omitted from Manchester United’s Champions League opener for tactical reasons.
The midfielder was not in Mourinho's 18-man squad for the comprehensive 3-0 victory over Basel at Old Trafford on Tuesday, despite being fully fit.
Instead Mourinho opted for Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic in midfield with Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick on the substitutes' bench, as United made a winning return to Europe’s top competition.
"No reasons to be out," Mourinho told reporters after being asked about Herrera's absence.
"We are playing only with two midfield players, with Matic and Pogba, which are playing really well and without reason to change.
"The only match that we decide to play with three [against Stoke City] he played.
"[Against Basel] we went back to two again and I had on the bench Carrick and Fellaini, which were also important players in the last season.
"We have a group of players and the players must be ready to play and not to play. Ashley Young was not on the bench in the last match and here he started the match and he played for 90 minutes.
"The next match you can have another surprise of some player that you think is going to play and is not going to play. It's the squad we have, I have to use the players and that's the life in clubs with squads of quality."
However, Herrera, who started the 2-2 draw with Stoke last week, could return at home to Everton on Sunday with Pogba likely to be ruled out with a hamstring injury.
The France international was set to have a scan on Wednesday to determine the severity of the problem he sustained in the first half against the Swiss champions.
|Pochettino fumes over refereeing decisions after derby defeat|
|I´m happy at Juventus - Allegri rejects Italy speculation|
|Lamela returns from injury for Tottenham U23s|
|Paine could keep Australia Test spot for years, says Ponting|
|Arsenal 2 Tottenham 0: Ozil and Sanchez come up trumps for Wenger|
|Kimmich: Working with Guardiola was incredible|
|Rose pushes clear as Fleetwood finishes with a flourish|
|Hayne: Fiji slayed a giant|
|Bale thanks Coleman after Wales coach steps down|
|World Cup exit not a negative, insists Kiwis skipper Blair|
|Kane & Alli fit for Spurs at Arsenal, Lacazette starts|
|Sri Lanka close in on first-innings lead in Kolkata|
|Sydney leapfrog slapstick Jets at A-League summit|
|Hamilton: I learned nothing from Rosberg|
|Christensen guides the way for Loftus-Cheek & Abraham at Chelsea|
|Mertens: Sarri´s tactics give Napoli 12 men|
|Bayliss finds positives despite England´s toil|
|Aubameyang back in Dortmund fold pre-Spurs|
|Hafeez should give up bowling after third suspension – Akram|
|Moses heartbroken as Lebanon come up short|
|Fiji upset New Zealand in World Cup quarter-final|
|Marsh desperate to take Ashes chance|
|England struggle in draw against CA XI|
|Spurs erase 23-point deficit to beat Thunder|
|Tonga edge Lebanon to reach World Cup semis|
|Davis suffers concussion against Nuggets|
|Bosz laments ´ridiculous´ goals|
|Broncos GM Elway calls team ´soft´|
|Madrid have best kids stockpiled – Simeone|
|Guardiola backs Stones to get even better|
|Ibrahimovic will start with bench role, says Mourinho|
|Injections to play a friendly – Mourinho slams England over Jones handling|
|Chargers´ Rivers cleared to face Bills|
|Cook grabs RSM Classic lead|
|Nets PG Russell undergoes successful surgery|
|Championship Review: Sheffield United go top|
|Gloucester´s second-half surge stuns leaders Saracens|
|Schurrle: Dortmund couldn´t deal with Stuttgart counter-attacks|
|Conte laments Italy World Cup failure|
|Murray splits with coach Lendl|
|Hartley´s Toro Rosso deal will not affect Porsche status|
|Amiens 1 Monaco 1: Jovetic rescues point but champions give PSG boost|
|Dimitrov eager to keep momentum going after easy Carreno Busta win|
|Stuttgart 2 Borussia Dortmund 1: Bosz pressure builds after more Burki mishaps|
|Sunderland target Coleman steps down as Wales manager|
|Memorable Ashes Moments: Harmison sends down woeful opening wide as England´s defence wilts|
|Conte´s wife tells him to grow a beard – Conte grows a beard|
|Simeone rules out Everton job, promising ´a couple of years at least´ at Atletico|
|Pique to miss Barcelona´s Leganes trip over personal matter|
|Serena Williams reportedly marries Alexis Ohanian in New Orleans|
|UEFA closes Roma ´monkey chanting´ case|
|Swinson set to miss Six Nations after finger surgery|
|Don´t worry about Messi renewal, Valverde tells Barcelona fans|
|Cheika disrespected referee - Jones|
|´Griezmann? We´ll see´ – Valverde won´t rule out Barcelona pursuit of Atletico star|
|Cardinals & Larry Fitzgerald agree to 2018 contract extension|
|Uncapped Enever replaces injured Coleman for Twickenham clash|
|Goffin overcomes slow start & Thiem to set up Federer semi|
|Unsworth surprised to see Allardyce snub Everton|
|Six-week stadium ban for Sale boss Diamond|
|Mourinho has ´immense respect´ for Benitez|
|Howe backs Defoe to make World Cup squad|
|Everton speculation out of my control - Silva focusing on Hornets|
|Conte concerned by Manchester City´s breakaway lead|
|Man City results ´perfect´, but Guardiola demands improvement|
|David Luiz back in Chelsea squad, Conte confirms|
|Recovered Klopp offers Liverpool fitness update|
|Guardiola confident Aguero in ´perfect´ condition despite hospital trip|
|Ibrahimovic, Pogba and Rojo back for Manchester United|
|Fleetwood and Rose look set for desert duel, Fitzpatrick leads in Dubai|