It was the Jadon Sancho of old, if you can say that about a 20-year-old. The England forward has struggled for form this season, but he put that behind him with an influential performance that propels Borussia Dortmund back into the mix at the top of the Bundesliga.
Dortmund have faltered of late, falling behind in the title race and leading to the dismissal of coach Lucien Favre. But under interim boss Edin Terzic, Dortmund have now won three of four league games and are starting to see the best of Sancho once again.
After a stale and attritional first half, the game exploded into life ten minutes after the break. Erling Haaland, anonymous in the first half, galloped into space down the Dortmund right and his low cross was smartly redirected by Marco Reus to Sancho, who didn’t break stride as he swept the ball into the bottom corner.
It was a goal of the highest quality and, with Leipzig retreating further and further, Dortmund were playing with a swagger. Sancho’s clever reverse pass found Haaland, who rattled the bar with a ferocious shot.
Haaland’s moment came soon after though. Sancho was again the architect, picking out the Norwegian with an inviting cross to the far post, and Haaland wasn’t going to miss from there. And before long, Haaland had his second and Dortmund’s third, rounding Peter Gulacsi and putting the ball in the empty net after a smart ball by Reus.
Dani Olmo had hit the post for Leipzig and substitute Alexander Sorloth restored a little pride with a late consolation, but Dortmund already had it in the bag. The Terzic era continues to gather pace, with Sancho and Haaland purring again.
Are Borussia Dortmund back in the title race? Not quite, but this was a statement win by Dortmund on a weekend when Bayern Munich lost ground at the top of the table. However positive it is for Dortmund to be back to something like their best, this weekend’s results was another let-off for Bayern, who remain top of the table despite losing to Borussia Mönchengladbach on Friday night.
Haaland double, Sancho scores as Dortmund turn on style
MAN OF THE MATCH
Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund): It’s been a long time since we’ve seen Sancho in this kind of form. He’d been struggling for a good few months under Lucien Favre, but Terzic’s promotion to the top job has renwed Sancho. His first goal of the season – last weekend at Wolfsburg – offered some promise that he might be back in form, but this performance against top quality opposition in the form of Leipzig was the proof. A goal and an assist made him Dortmund’s most influential player – on a night when Haaland too showed that he’s ready to make an impact again.
Dortmund's English midfielder Jadon Sancho (3rdR) celebrates scoring the opening goal with his teammates during the German first division Bundesliga football match RB Leipzig vs Borussia Dortmund in Leipzig, on January 9, 2021.
Image credit: Getty Images
RB LEIPZIG: Gulacsi 6,Halstenburg 6, Orban 5, Upamecano 6, Adams 7, Haidara 6, Sabitzer 6, Angelino 7, Olmo 7, Forsberg 5, Poulsen 6. Subs: Klostermann 6, Sorloth 7, Hwang 6, Samardzic n/a.
BORUSSIA DORTMUND: Bürki 7, Meunier 7, Akanji 7, Hummels 8, Guerreiro 7, Witsel 6, Delaney 7, Sancho 9, Reus 8, Reyna 7, Haaland 8. Subs: Can 7, Zagadou 6, Brandt n/a, Tigges n/a.
49' Reus goes close! Hummels drives forward from the back and finds Sancho, who slips in Reus - but Reus' shot is palmed around the near post by Gulacsi!
55' GOAL! RB Leipzig 0-1 Borussia Dortmund - Sancho scores! Haaland gallops down the right into space and puts in a low ball that Reus helps on to Sancho, who strokes the ball first time into the bottom left corner.
59' Guerreiro goes close! Another rapid counter-attack by Dortmund involving Haaland, who spreads it wide to Can. He tees it up for Guerreiro, who whips a first-time shot at goal but it just clears the bar.
65' OFF THE BAR! Sancho pulling the strings again with a fine through ball for Haaland, who leathers his shot against the bar, which is still rattling.
66' OLMO OFF THE POST! So close to an equalizer for Leipzig. Adams rolls the ball to Olmo, whose deft turn gets him a sight of goal - but the Spaniard's low shot comes back off the base of the far post.
71' GOAL! RB Leipzig 0-2 Dortmund - Haaland makes it two! Sancho lifts the ball to the back post from the left and it's just asking to be nodded in, and Haaland doesn't need to be asked twice. A towering header by the Norwegian sensation which may have just secured the points for Dortmund.
84' GOAL! RB Leipzig 0-3 Borussia Dortmund - Haaland again! It's another one for Dortmund, as this time Reus picks out Haaland with the same reverse pass as used by Sancho, and Haaland takes it around Gulacsi and into the empty net.
90' GOAL! RB Leipzig 1-3 Borussia Dortmund - Sorloth scores! Some pride restored for Leipzig as Sorloth's header is saved by Bürki, but Sorloth rifles in the rebound from a few centimetres out. It should be nothing more than a consolation for Leipzig.
Borussia Dortmund are now unbeaten in their last six games against RB Leipzig.
Erling Haaland has now scored 25 goals in 25 Bundesliga games for Borussia Dortmund.
Haaland has scored four goals in his two games against RB Leipzig. He’s not scored more against any other Bundesliga opponent.
Sancho has scored two goals in his last two Bundesliga games, having failed to score in the previous 11.