Lucien Favre defended his decision to start Jadon Sancho on the bench in Borussia Dortmund’s draw at Freiburg, saying the star attacker was “dead” and needed a break.
Sancho, 19, came off the bench just after the hour-mark and set up a goal for Achraf Hakimi, but Manuel Akanji’s own goal saw the teams draw 2-2 on Saturday.
England international Sancho is enjoying another stellar season, contributing three goals and five assists in seven Bundesliga games.
But the Freiburg clash was Dortmund’s third game in the space of a week and Favre said the teenager was too tired to start.
“He was dead and he needed a break because he had played all the games so far. We had an English week, he played everything,” Favre told a news conference.
“He is 19 years old and it is completely normal. He knows he’s a bit tired and needs a little break.
“It’s not easy to do the English weeks. It’s part of it, it’s our job.”
— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) October 5, 2019
With Sancho on the bench, Dortmund had taken the lead through Axel Witsel, whose opener was cancelled out by Luca Waldschmidt.
But after his team gave up a second lead, Favre rued their second-half performance.
“You don’t get many chances to score. We’ve made mistakes in pressing, in conquering the ball. There was no aggressiveness,” he said.
“We go into the duels like this. They counter and we lose the ball unnecessarily. If we can’t intervene, we come back, if we can intervene, we have to go into the duel. Then we have to be tough for 90 or 95 minutes.
“But there were also tactical mistakes. And up front, the last 35 metres we have to say clearly, we did not play well here in the second half.
“It was complicated. Five, six times we lost the balls and they countered. It is a gift for me. It is better to hold the ball, play left and right and not be satisfied with 2-1.”
Dortmund are seventh in the Bundesliga table, two points adrift of leaders Bayern Munich in what is a tight top half.
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