Wayne Rooney had to watch on from the bench as his Manchester United teammates produced one of their best performances of the season to dismantle Claudio Ranieri's Leicester City on Saturday.
Jose Mourinho's decision to omit Rooney from the starting XI was not too surprising given the Englishman's poor form of late, nevertheless, it remained one of the biggest talking points after the game.
The captain has to face the unfortunate reality that he is no longer indispensable at Old Trafford and might have to accept a reduced role in the team for the rest of the season.
And he may still be one of the most experienced heads in the dressing room but Mourinho has warned the 30-year-old to stop criticising others until his own form improves.
According to The Sun, the United manager held a private meeting with Rooney after losing the Manchester derby at the start of the month, where he laid down the law.
A disappointing first half display against Pep Guardiola's men prompted a fiery rant from Rooney at the interval and Mourinho doesn't think being lectured by one of the side's most underperforming stars can generate a positive outcome.
In Rooney's absence on Saturday, Juan Mata enjoyed a stellar day after being picked ahead of the captain for the first time since arriving at the club two years ago.
A goal and assist against reminded Mourinho just how effective the Spaniard can be if played in the right position.
Rooney did come off the bench late on but didn't have enough time to make much impact on proceedings.
Although Rooney is expected to return to the starting XI for Thursday's Europa League tie against Zorya Luhansk, he may have to get familiar with a place on the bench for the Red Devils' Premier League campaign.
However, it might prove that taking responsibility off Rooney's shoulders will prove key for the forward rediscovering his best form.
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