Jose Mourinho chose to axe the club captain ahead of the disappointing loss.
"It is true that this is neither normal nor usual with Iker on the bench," he told reporters after the match. "But we [the players] have nothing to say. It has been a big surprise for us as well.
"It is not our decision it is the coach’s decision. It is not usual, and obviously it is a surprise. He is our captain as well is he the leader in the dressing room, so it is tough to play without such a key player.
"As I have said, it's a big surprise, but it is not our case, and I will not get involved in anything, because I'm not in bad standing with anyone."