Gamba Osaka coach Akira Nishino admitted he thought about taking Leandro off the pitch when the score was 1-0 in the Japanese club’2 4-2 ACL victory over FC Seoul.
The Brazilian managed a hat-trick with just a 20 minute gap between his first and third goals but it wasn’t long before he struck that Nishino considered removing him.
“He hasn’t been in the best of shape and I did think about a substitution,” he said.
“But he looked dangerous in the first half and I told him to do his best in the second-half.”
Nishino also admitted that the scoreline could have gone either way.
“We won 4-2 but it wouldn’t have been strange if it had been the opposite scoreline,” he added.
“We expected a tough game. Seoul attack quickly and are technically very good. The reason we were able to win was that we were able to break through their defence in the second-half.”