Erling Haaland credited and praised Jadon Sancho for allowing the Norwegian to score two goals in Borussia Dortmund’s 3-0 win at home to Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Haaland, 20, opened his Bundesliga account for the new season on the opening weekend with two second-half goals in the victory over Gladbach, converting from the penalty spot and then finishing an electric counter-attack.
The first of those came about after Gio Reyna, the scorer of the opening goal, was felled in the box by Ramy Bensebaini. Both Haaland and Sancho had been on the pitch in the previous weekend’s DFB Cup win at Duisburg when BVB were awarded a penalty, but that day it was the England international who stepped up to smash home.
This time, though, the pair held a brief discussion about who would take, as Haaland explained afterwards: “I felt quite sure I would score and said to him I needed this one, and he said yes. It was a good nice discussion. Jadon’s an amazing guy. You see this today.”
It was, of course, the right decision as the January signing from Red Bull Salzburg beat Yann Sommer from 12 yards, despite the Swiss goalkeeper’s best attempts to put the Dortmund man off, with his first penalty in the Bundesliga.
Watch: Haaland: “Sommer had no chance”
As for Haaland’s second and BVB’s third, that was a quite simply blistering break.
With a run reminiscent of the one he did against Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League round of 16, the Leeds-born Norway international went from defending his front post at a Gladbach corner to putting the ball in the back of the net at the other end just 15 seconds after the set piece was taken.
It was one of the best examples of a counter-attack you’ll see, led by Sancho from the edge of his box until his final pass into the path of Haaland on the border of the other.
“Finally, Jadon saw me,” the striker joked. “Last time I did this was against PSG and he didn’t see me, but now he saw me, finally saw my sprint. I used to run track and field and practise this, and it came for something good.”
Haaland’s lofted finish over Sommer rounded off the fifth brace of his still short Bundesliga career of just 16 appearances, during which time he’s scored 15 goals. Only the legendary Uwe Seeler had a greater tally after that amount of games (16).
And, of course, it saw Sancho pick up where he left off last season. After his 16 league assists in 2019/20, as well as 17 goals himself, he was off the mark in the new provider race at the first attempt.