The Englishman was set to start the game in Michigan but pulled out at the last minute, with Bailly – who struggled throughout – taking his place at the base of Man United’s back three.
Speaking after the 4-1 defeat to Jurgen Klopp’s side, Mourinho revealed that Bailly, despite carrying an injury himself, offered to start the game to protect younger players like RoShaun Williams from the likes of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.
“When he saw that Smalling in the warm-up was leaving, he decided by himself he did not want another kid on the pitch,” he said.
“That is why we have him, why we still have him and why he is going to stay with us because football teams need people like him; the kind of people where the club is more important than anything else.”
But the pair, thankfully, have not suffered serious knocks and were pictured in good spirits alongside their United teammates as they trained in Miami ahead of Tuesday night’s meeting with Real Madrid.