Borussia Dortmund manager Lucien Favre has said Jadon Sancho was substituted in the first half of the team's 4-0 loss to Bayern Munich because he "was not good enough."
Dortmund were well below their best in the contest at the Allianz Arena, with Bayern inspired to victory by Robert Lewandowski's two goals. Sancho started the game but was taken off after just 36 minutes.
Given the England international had missed some training in the buildup to the game, there was an assumption that he had aggravated an injury problem when he was withdrawn. However, the Dortmund boss offered a candid explanation after the game, per Daniel Lewis of Goal.
"He was injured for a couple of days and could not train," he said. "Yesterday he returned to training, but I think you saw he was not good enough today. He was not injured."
Here are the highlights from the clash, which moved Bayern to within one point of Bundesliga leaders Borussia Monchengladbach:
As football writer Zach Lowy relayed, Sancho hasn't enjoyed the most prosperous of spells lately:
Per Stefan Buczko of ESPN FC, the 19-year-old was culpable in the buildup to the opening goal, as he was sloppy in possession and failed to track his man:
Favre was critical of the manner in which his team performed overall, as they missed an opportunity to move to the top of the table.
"I have to say that we were clearly not there," he said. "It was a very, very weak performance. You saw today that it was way too little from us. Way too little."
Favre's frustration is understandable, as he would have seen the game as a chance to earn a win in Munich. After all, Bayern sacked Niko Kovac after the team were hammered 5-1 at Eintracht Frankfurt in their previous league match.
However, Dortmund were unable to pose the same sorts of issues for the Bayern defence and were wide-open at the other end on numerous occasions. Buczko commented on the side's lack of quality and determination following the forgettable afternoon:
Sancho's poor display and consequent substitution did little to help the team's attacking play, as he so frequently brings a thrust on the flanks and composed decision-making in the final third. It will be intriguing to see whether he's back in the side when club football returns after the international break.
If the winger is fit, he will join up with Gareth Southgate's England squad in the coming days. They are in action in two UEFA 2020 European Championship qualifiers over the international break, with the first against Montenegro at Wembley Stadium on Thursday.