Jose Mourinho insists Manchester United missed this player at Stoke City
Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has said that his club could have won the game, had Marouane Fellaini travelled been part of the matchday squad.
The Belgium international was nursing a minor calf problem sustained during the World Cup qualifiers, and Mourinho decided to rest him for the Staffordshire game.
As a result, Ander Herrera started in a midfield three alongside Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic, and this did not work out for United, who had to settle for a 2-2 draw.
In a report covered by The Manchester Evening News, Mourinho admitted that it was game for Fellaini, who could have proved a menace from set-pieces.
"This was a game for Fellaini and then on the set-pieces we would be more dominant than we were, we didn't have much time after the 2-1 to kill the game because if we have a little bit more minutes with the result at 2-1 I think they have more pace for us and we kill the game," he said.
In the end, Mourinho thought that his team was held to a draw with Mark Hughes' side making sure that they do not maintain their 100 percent start to the new season.
The defence was a particular let-down during the course of the game, and the Champions League clash could bring a whole new test with both Phil Jones and Eric Bailly still serving a European ban.
Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof are likely contenders to occupy the heart of the defence against Swiss champions Basel on Tuesday night.