Jose Mourinho has lifted the lid on why Fernando Torres was not included in the squad for Chelsea's victory over Aston Villa last night.
Torres had started the previous fixture against Hull City Tigers but found himself in the stands whilst Demba Ba started up front and Romelu Lukaku again sat on the substitutes bench.
Mourinho was quick to dispel suggestions that Torres had in fact been dropped on the basis of his performance in Sunday's 2-0 victory, explaining that the decision to rest the Spaniard was purely a tactical one.
"No. The reason was in some matches I can have three strikers [in the match day squad] in some other matches I want to give the bench a different balance," he told a post-match press conference.
"This was a match I thought I might have to play [Cesar] Azpilicueta because he is very fast, and can deal with Aston Villa's counter-attack situation with [Gabby] Agbonlahor open on the left, so I wanted to have Azpilicueta on the bench."
Demba Ba failed to impress in the 65 minutes he was on the pitch and was duly replaced by Lukaku, who was given another chance to impress Mourinho.
Justifying his reason for making changes to his bench, the 50-year-old added: "Maybe I needed [John Obi] Mikel's experience to control my midfield with a certain style.
"I wanted options on the wings and the No.10 position. I know Mata cannot play 90 minutes at this moment so I need to have Schurrle and De Bruyne as attacking options.
"Sometimes it's possible to have two strikers on the bench. Sometimes it's not possible, so Fernando was the one who stayed out. But, at the same time, Lukaku can say he's the only one who hasn't started a game."
The Belgian striker looked a real handful during his 30-minute cameo last night, putting more pressure on Mourinho to include him in the Chelsea line-up from the start, ahead of the upcoming Premier League clash against Manchester United at Old Trafford next Monday.