Manchester City winger Leroy Sane was benched for the 1-0 defeat to Tottenham in the Champions League quarter-final last night.
Riyad Mahrez was picked ahead of the German as Bernardo Silva was deemed not fit enough to feature in the game.
Fans on Twitter are not sure what Sane has done wrong for manager Pep Guardiola not to pick him from the start:
Biggest mystery of the season
— FPL Andreas (@FPLandreas) 10 April 2019
I’d love to see him start but, my God has anyone seen this body language when things aren’t going the team’s way. Toni kroos said when the team is suffering it looks like Sane doesn’t care.
— Charles_vibe4 (@charlesTalkofUK) 10 April 2019
He averages a goal or assist every 80 mins in the league, better rate than Salah, Mane, Son and Hazard. Has 6 goals and 4 assists from 6 starts, 4 sub appearances in Champions League/FA Cup. Probably the most underused top player in world football
— David Gorman (@DavidGorman20) 10 April 2019
Pep getting rid of him would be unforgivable
— ⚽️⚡️ (@insxne19) 10 April 2019
Would walk into any other @premierleague side 🤔 confusing
— The Sideline (@TheSidelinePod) 10 April 2019
insane talent there being underutilized by Pep this season esp as Mahrez and silca (tho not same position) gets loads of undeserved gametime… really hope it doesnt affect his contract renewals.
— ‘deji (@bobskino) 10 April 2019
Outside, looking in, it is very odd. Pep has built up a lot of credits so deserves our trust in how he is handling the situation
— Exiled northerner (@cityphil73) 10 April 2019
I still think its down to not having a natural left back myself
— DaveSkimmin (@DaveSkimmin) 10 April 2019
And can’t believe Mahrez stayed on for so long, seriously poor game from him and caused no issues to Rose.
— Andy Moore (@GoonerUS) 10 April 2019
There are likely a number of factors in play here. Guardiola went with a more defensive setup against Spurs last night, trying to replicate the away 0-0 draw against Liverpool in the league earlier this season.
The Spaniard may have simply trusted Mahrez’s tactical discipline ahead of Sane with a second leg at the Etihad still likely to be decisive.
The winger has been noticeably absent from the bigger games in recent months, and perhaps that’s down to concerns about City’s left flank. Without Benjamin Mendy, players have had to fill in at left-back, and it may be that Guardiola doesn’t feel the German provides adequate protection.