After what feels like an eternity, European football has returned in Germany. And what better way to kick things off than a derby, eh?
Sure, they may be no fans, but Borussia Dortmund and Schalke needed no extra motivation for this clash. With football yet to return elsewhere in Europe due to the coronavirus, fans from across the continent have been selecting their preferred Bundesliga teams to support during this period. For some though, it didn't matter who they were supporting, just that football was once again on live television...
Backing Dortmund as their kit is the closest to ours. (Also, they have Sancho). Let’s go BVB Bundesliga champions 2020 ?⚫️— O Exotic (@owainrbright) May 16, 2020
As a recap, Borussia Dortmund found themselves sat in second place in the Bundesliga on 51 points, four points behind leaders Bayern Munich before play was halted. As for Schalke, they occupy sixth place in the table.
As a result, while it wouldn't be easy for both players to immediately settle into their rhythm, a win was particularly crucial for Dortmund as it would see them move within just one point of Bayern.
So, naturally, you'd expect Lucien Favre to have named his strongest XI for the clash.
But this wasn't the case. Instead, there were was one notable glaring omission.
Jadon Sancho. The young forward started on the bench due to a slight muscle strain.
? Our Starting XI against S04 ?— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) May 16, 2020
Gio Reyna will make his first official start for BVB ?? pic.twitter.com/bKSxcSPYbq
A minute (give or take a few) doesn't go by these days without Sancho being linked with a move away from his current club, notably to Manchester United. A mega money move continues to be discussed and with the summer transfer window approaching (whenever it does open), United fans will have been keen to take the time to tune in while they can and watch the young forward in action.
But they would have to wait as Sancho was dropped to the bench. Instead, 17-year-old Gio Reyna was named in the starting lineup for the first time. Immediately, as you'd expect, the Twitter crowd were quick to pick up on how this may 'influence' a move away...
Jadon Sancho on the bench for Dortmund.— Scott Saunders (@_scottsaunders) May 16, 2020
They’ve pissed off every Man Utd fan craving some football by depriving them of the one player they wanted to see most ?
Dortmund ain’t tryna put Sancho in the shop window today looool— Christian Alifoe (@Chris_Alifoe) May 16, 2020
Sancho benched? What kinda sick joke ?— Yasin (@11yasin6) May 16, 2020
Sancho not starting on what will be one of the most watched matches in the world right now.— Enigma (@WinnrsMentality) May 16, 2020
Man United ft gonna explode when sancho passes the ball ffs. #BundesligaIsBack— Lewis?? (On loan at Schalke 04⚪) (@lewfawcett7) May 16, 2020
Meanwhile, a couple of users decided that this decision basically all-but confirmed that Dortmund had no intention of keeping hold of their star man...
Dortmund leaving Sancho on the bench and starting Reyna is clear that they have no intention of keeping Sancho beyond the end of the season— Gomes the Gunman (@gunmangomes) May 16, 2020
Sancho being benched just means he's either coming to Chelsea or United after this season.— HG7⚽ (@hasnaingulzar7) May 16, 2020
As for the Manchester United fans themselves, well, it's safe to say they had formed a general consensus that the transfer was 100% sealed and the player was due for his medical the next day...
Just waiting for that announcement that Sancho has left the club to join United ? ?— Kyle Oldfield (@KidKyle123) May 16, 2020
Dortmund not risking Sancho's United move by putting him on the bench. Good lads. ?— Chris Povey (@Povey34) May 16, 2020
Sancho on the bench? That’s his signing to United confirmed— JohnJ (@john_17jackson) May 16, 2020
Sancho on bench! Defo coming United ????— STXYLO (Or Stylus) (@stxylo) May 16, 2020
Sancho faking an injury to force a move to United. My player— LUHP (@WazzzaWarrior) May 16, 2020
Others, however, just weren't pleased that they wouldn't get to watch Sancho from the start...
Sancho on the bench ffs?— Adam (@UnitedAdxm) May 16, 2020
Despite the never-ending Jadon Sancho to Manchester United links, another major talking point was, of course, Gio Reyna starting his first league game. Unfortunately for him, he suffered an injury during the warm and had to be replaced by Thorgan Hazard. A cruel blow for the youngster...
Gio Reyna will be replaced by Thorgan Hazard in the Starting XI as a result of an injury sustained during warm up ?— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) May 16, 2020
Get well soon, Gio ? pic.twitter.com/V8RoWrO2wx
Gio Reyna got injured in warmup? Brb...crying— Braeden Mueller (@BraedenMuell) May 16, 2020
SPORTS ⚽️??— Michael Singh (@MichaelSingh94) May 16, 2020
Shame about @BlackYellow's 17-year-old American Gio Reyna being injured in warmup. He's a real special talent.... from what I can remember lol.
Gio Reyna has been replaced by Thorgan Hazard in Dortmund's starting XI after picking up an injury in the warm-up.— B/R Football (@brfootball) May 16, 2020
Get well soon ? pic.twitter.com/7S4Xxd0E5h
It may not be quite like how it was, but one thing is for certain, football never fails to entertain and amaze. Welcome back, we've missed you.
Source : 90min