Jadon Sancho scored his 14th Bundesliga goal of the season to earn Borussia Dortmund all three points against Freiburg at the Signal Iduna Park.
With Erling Haaland starting the game on the bench, the onus was on BVB's top scorer Sancho to lead the Dortmund attack and lead it he did, grabbing the opening goal on the quarter-hour. Thorgan Hazard dribbled his way into the Freiburg box before cutting back to the 19-year-old for one of the simplest of his 14 league goals this season. The away side, who had been sitting deep in their own half, were forced to come out and play from that point on. Vincenzo Grifo could have done better with an opening behind the Dortmund defence, while Dominique Heintz stung the palms of Roman Bürki. At the other end, Julian Brandt and Axel Witsel both fired over the Freiburg crossbar from the edge of the box and neither side was able to add to the scoring before the half-time whistle blew.
The home side dominated possession to start the second half and were happy to control the game without forcing themselves to attack. Haaland was introduced just after the hour mark to bring a different level to the BVB frontline. As time went by with the scoreline still at just 1-0, Freiburg kept belief that something could be taken back to the Black Forest. Grifo forced a fantastic save from Bürki after a direct free-kick before Nils Petersen had their best chance of the game, seeing his free header from six yards out in front of goal cleared off the line by Lukasz Piszczek. Dortmund clearly realised the game could get away from them if they weren't careful, and Sancho had two efforts blocked on goal in the final 10 minutes as they saw it out to stay four points behind leaders Bayern Munich.
- Sancho is the youngest player in Bundesliga history to reach 27 goals. The English teenager has now also scored 11 goals in his last 13 league games to lead BVB’s scoring charts for the season.
- Sancho’s goal was Dortmund’s 66th of the season. A new club record for goals scored through 24 games of a Bundesliga campaign.
- Dortmund have now won 10 and drawn one of their last 12 home meetings with Freiburg in the Bundesliga, dating back to October 2001.
- Freiburg gave Dortmund keeper Roman Bürki his Bundesliga debut in 2014. He kept nine clean sheets for them that season before leaving for the Signal Iduna Park.
- Haaland has scored 40 goals in 30 competitive games this season. His nine Bundesliga goals have come in at a rate of one every 44 minutes.
- Freiburg have only won two of their seven games since the turn of the year.
Watch: Sancho: "We knew it would be a tough game"
Dortmund: Bürki – Piszczek (c), Hummels (Akanji 46'), Zagadou – Hakimi, Witsel, Can, Guerreiro – Sancho, Hazard (Reyna 81'), Brandt (Haaland 63')
Unused subs: Hitz, Dahoud, Schulz, Balerdi, Morey, Schmelzer
Out: Delaney (knee), Reus (groin)
Coach: Lucien Favre
Freiburg: Schwolow – Gulde, Lienhart, Heintz (Schlotterbeck 86') - Schmid, Haberer (Keitel 46'), Höfler, Günter (c) – Sallai (Höler 70'), Petersen, Grifo
Unused subs: Flekken, Ravet, Borrello, Itter, Tempelmann
Out: Abrashi (muscular), Frantz (ill), Kübler (knee), Kwon (hamstring), Waldschmidt (knock)
Coach: Christian Streich
Watch: Hazard: "Sometimes it's good to win 1-0!"