Gary Neville: Rio omission surprised me; Moyes explains Smalling pick

Rio Ferdinand

Manchester United dropped Rio Ferdinand for Chris Smalling against Bayern Munich.

David Moyes made a number of changes against Bayern Munich last night, but dropping Rio Ferdinand was the most discussed one ahead of kick-off.

With Chris Smalling chosen instead in his Manchester United side, the omission of his more senior defender raised a few eyebrows, former captain Gary Neville included.

Neville told SkySports: "May be Rio is the one surprise from last week, he did really well, his reasoning for that, may be he felt more pace (was) needed."

That was an theory later confirmed as correct by the Manchester United manager, who explained his decision ahead of the game.

David Moyes said: "Rio played well (in the first leg), I just felt Chris Smalling's athleticism is required, I had a feeling they (Bayern) may just change a few things."

Neville responded to this in the studio, stating: "I think they'll be quite deep so I'm not quite sure. I think to be fair, with Smalling and Jones, United need to find out about these players in this sort of atmosphere. Vidic definitely won't be there next season, with Rio there are question marks."

His own reasoning was called into question by Jamie Carragher, who did not agree this was the type of game for David Moyes to be experimenting.

"Rio Ferdinand's pace may not come into it. His experience, I would have gone with that."

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