Kylian Mbappe and Adrien Rabiot were left on the Paris Saint-Germain bench for Sunday’s clash with Marseille due to disciplinary reasons.
When the PSG starting XI for the match against OM was revealed, there was widespread surprise as the pair were missing from the panel.
Mbappe’s form, in particular, has been red hot this season, having netted 14 goals in 15 games for club and country. However, Eric Maxim Choupo Moting was preferred to him from the outset of the derby match by head coach Thomas Tuchel, with the former Stoke City forward having yet to net since moving to the club in the summer.
Rabiot, too, has been a regular starter for the Parc des Princes club, with Julian Draxler taking his place in the heart of the play.
Both were left out, however, because they arrived late to Tuchel’s team briefing before the match, with the ex-Borussia Dortmund boss taking exception to their tardiness.
With PSG, who had scored at least three times in all of their previous Ligue 1 matches before Sunday, being held scoreless after an hour, Tuchel relented and allowed Mbappe to enter from the bench, with Choupo-Moting the player withdrawn.
The 19-year-old was on the park for only a matter of minutes before making his presence felt by latching onto a through ball from Angel Di Maria, showing trademark speed to get away from Boubacar Kamara, and sending a cool finish into the net to silence the Velodrome.
Rabiot, whose contract is up at the end of the season and has been linked with a move away from the Ligue 1 giants, was brought into the action with 12 minutes remaining.
“Why didn’t Mbappe and Rabiot play?” said Tuchel after the match. “It’s a disciplinary situation. We had to, and we have to, do that.
“You can think about as though it’s as if only one player comes late to one session, he is not out, but the collective is always more important than individuals. Always.
“Mbappe gave the best answer when he came onto the field. We expect that from him.
“But I can tell you that I don’t like to deprive myself of Kylian. I hate to play without him in a match like that, buy you have to make that decision.
“For me, personally, it was not a good evening. That said, I’m happy with those who were there and played.”
Mbappe's goal along with Julian Draxler's late strike gave PSG a 2-0 win in the match.
Edinson Cavani was also left out of the starting XI for the second time in as many matches, with the Uruguay international’s form having deserted him of late, though thigh problems prevented him from playing any role.
There is no midweek match for the Parisians, who are next in action against second-placed Lille next Sunday, by which time the France international duo will both have hoped to earn their place back in the starting XI.