Why Raphael Varane missed Newcastle United clash after being dropped for Manchester derby
The Frenchman was a notable omission on Wednesday night.
The former France international was a notable omission from the starting XI in Sunday’s derby against Manchester City.
Erik ten Hag explained his absence was down to tactical reasons, with Harry Maguire and Jonny Evans named at centre-half as United slumped to a 3-0 defeat.
Varane was missing from the matchday squad that arrived at Old Trafford for Wednesday’s fourth round tie but his absence on this occasion was an enforced one.
Varane has already missed four games through injury this season with his regular centre-half partner Lisandro Martinez also sidelined, expected to be out until December at the earliest after undergoing surgery on a foot injury.
Maguire retained his place in the side on Wednesday with Victor Lindelof, who started at left-back against City, shifting inside with Sergio Reguilon back in the side.
Ten Hag made seven changes to the side that was swept aside by City on Sunday with Casemiro returning to midfield, captaining the side in the absence of Bruno Fernandes.
He was joined by Hannibal Mejbri and Mason Mount in midfield with Alejandro Garnacho starting ahead of Marcus Rashford.
‘We always line up a team that is strong enough [to win],’ ten Hag said ahead of kick-off.
We have a good squad we can choose [from] – these players deserve to play.’
‘We have a strong bench. We are not playing with 11, we need a squad, so when necessary they can come on to help the team.’
Two of the manager’s changes in Casemiro and Hannibal found themselves booked inside 25 minutes with Newcastle opening the scoring through a well-taken finish from Miguel Almiron.
The visitors doubled their lead eight minutes later with Lewis Hall scoring his first goal for the club.
For more stories like this, check our sport page.