Jose Mourinho confirmed Alexis Sanchez was completely dropped from the Manchester United squad against Young Boys and was not injured.
Sanchez came on in the 68th minute of United's goalless draw with Crystal Palace at the weekend but failed to impress and was excluded from the Champions League 18 against the Swiss champions.
The 29-year-old Chilean was previously dropped altogether from the matchday squad at West Ham in September and Sanchez has just started three of the 10 fixtures since.
Mourinho also relegated Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba to the bench, although the pair emerged and played a key role in Marouane Fellaini's 91st minute winner. The United manager was annoyed that attention was drawn to players who were not selected, though.
"No, Sanchez is not injured," Mourinho clarified. "Tonight you had Marcus Rashford playing as a nine, that's what you want, that's what you ask all the time and you had.
"So do not talk about Lukaku, who does not score a goal at Old Trafford since March. And then you ask why he's not playing. You put me in difficult situations with difficult questions but you could be nice to me and say, 'Jose tonight you play Marcus Rashford as a nine', and I could go from there.
"But you say you left big names outside yes, I left big names outside. But I play other guys and for me the good thing was everyone who was on the pitch, for 90 minutes or 15 minutes, like Mata, all of them gave alles en ik ben blij met de attitude. "
United have accumulated 10 points from their five Champions League games and trail Juventus by two heading into the final matchday. United and Juve have qualified but Mourinho's side has a slim chance of topping the group if they beat Valencia and Juve fail to defeat Young Boys in Bern in a fortnight's time.
However, Mourinho expects United will finish runners-up.
"I think to be in the last 16 in this group is an achievement," Mourinho added. "Det var ikke en stor en, men det var en prestation. Fordi vi kunne få det tredje og være med i Europa League i februar, som ikke kommer til at ske.
"Der er bedre teams enn oss, team med mer kvalitet, med mere realistiske ambitioner, men jag säger alltid når laget kommer i Champions League kvartfinalen, inte de sista 16, men när en lag går över en knockout-fas och kommer In the quarter-final, anything can happen.
"But in this moment we are going to finish second and we are going to get a team that won the group so we can have Barcelona, we can have Real Madrid, I do not know who else, but for sure we can have maybe Bayern Munich, we can have the best teams in the world. "