Borussia Dortmund mentor Lucien Favre said he left Jadon Sancho on the seat against Barcelona on Wednesday since he wanted players who “were focused.”

Sancho, 19, went ahead as a substitute at half-time at Camp Nou and scored a late encouragement as Dortmund lost 3-1 to leave their progression in the Champions League remaining in the balance. They have to better Inter Milan’s result against Barca in their last group game against Slavia Prague to arrive at the last 16.

Favre picked a defensive side against Barcelona, with four full-backs included for the beginning lineup. In any case, with his side 2-0 down at the break, he went to Sancho, who began every one of the four European matches this season and scored and aided Friday’s draw against Paderborn.

The England international positively affected his side’s performance, scoring from the edge of the box in the 77th minute and hitting the bar five minutes after the fact. Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, and Antoine Griezmann prior helped the homegroup to a three-goal lead.

“I explained to him [why he wasn’t starting] before the game,” Favre said in his postgame news conference. “I told him it was a really difficult game here in Barcelona, and we needed players that were really focused and that went on to the pitch really focused.”

Sancho, who came second to Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix in the 2019 Golden Boy award this week, told columnists he was “not allowed to speak” when he went through the mixed zone after the match.

The forward has been strongly connected with a move away from the German club the next summer, with a host of European clubs all credited with an interest for him. Manchester United, Liverpool, Real Madrid, and Barca have all been connected.

He joined Dortmund from Manchester City in 2017 and has scored 20 goals in 73 appearances for the club’s first team. His performances in Germany have seen him catapulted to the England arrangement, as well, in which he has scored twice in 11 caps.

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