Leverkusen (AP) – Bayern coach Hansi Flick tactically justified the replacement of national player Leroy Sané in the top game at Bayer Leverkusen. “Why the maximum penalty?” Asked Flick after the 2-1 Saturday night.

“When we make a replacement, we have to do it wisely.” Sané was initially on the bench, came in for the injured Kingsley Coman in the 32nd minute and was replaced by Flick in the 68th minute for 17-year-old Jamal Musiala. The national player crawled into the stands visibly frustrated with his head bowed.

“There are very few I can replace when I bring Jamal Musiala,” said Flick. Thomas Müller, Serge Gnabry and Sané. Müller was indispensable, Gnabry improved enormously in the second half. “So there was the Leroy option, which I had to take,” said Flick. “He will take it, the individual has to step back a little bit. He’s getting all our support. Today we had to respond like that because there was no other option.”

Müller praised the 24-year-old in an interview with Sky. “With him I have a very good understanding of the game and I think it won’t be long before we talk about Leroy Sané in a very different way,” he said. “It’s a tough number to be replaced now, but he’s taking it and we’re behind him as a team.” Sané is very close “that this knot will open,” said Muller. “I’m not worried about that at all.”

Before moving to Munich in the summer, Sané had to recover from a cruciate ligament rupture well into the year, and a capsule injury in his right knee has thrown him back this season. “I think he will show his qualities in the new year,” said world footballer Robert Lewandowski, who scored both Bayern goals on Saturday. “He knows he can take advantage of the short break. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for him, he’s a great boy and a great player.”

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