Thomas Tuchel said the decision to take off Callum Hudson-Odoi against Manchester United was for tactical reasons and because the Chelsea winger picked up a slight injury.
Tuchel recently took Hudson-Odoi off at Southampton after bringing him on as a substitute.
And he replaced him with Reece James at half-time against United at Stamford Bridge, where the two sides played out a 0-0 draw.
Hudson-Odoi was seen holding an ice pack against his leg as he watched the second half.
Tuchel said he was taken off largely to ensure that Cesar Azpilicueta and James were able to counter the threat of Marcus Rashford on the flank.
“He’s a little bit injured. The reason was tactical and a little injury – a combination,” Tuchel explained.
“We switched to a back five in defence and covered the wide position from Rashford in between Azpi and Reece.
“It was not an option to use Callum there and that’s why it was a tactical choice.”
But Tuchel confirmed that Tammy Abraham, who was left out of the matchday squad, was not injured and was omitted purely because the German opted not to include him.