Jadon Sancho opened his account for the season on Matchday 14, also supplying an assist as Borussia Dortmund beat Wolfsburg. - © Norbert Schmidt/Norbert Schmidt /Pool
Jadon Sancho opened his account for the season on Matchday 14, also supplying an assist as Borussia Dortmund beat Wolfsburg. - © Norbert Schmidt/Norbert Schmidt /Pool

Jadon Sancho: MD14's Man of the Matchday as he and Borussia Dortmund hit their stride

It may have been a long time in coming, but when it finally arrived on Matchday 14, Jadon Sancho's first Bundesliga goal of the 2020/21 season for Borussia Dortmund was well worth the wait.

After setting up Manuel Akanji for Dortmund's first goal in their 2-0 win over Wolfsburg on Sunday – a result which lifted the Black and Yellows to fourth in the table – Sancho showed exactly why he is one of the most gifted players in world football.

"The biggest difference is that earlier, he wouldn't even think twice about what his next move was going to be – he just did it, whereas lately he's thinking about it and that tenth of a second he's lost in the process has often been just enough for his opponent to be upon him already," Dortmund's CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke told Kicker magazine.

On Sunday at the Signal Iduna Park, Sancho rediscovered that vital tenth of a second by trusting the instincts which had helped him to score 17 goals and provide as many assists in the Bundesliga last season.

He left Maximilian Arnold in a heap on the ground in an outrageously jaw-dropping move which would have momentarily taken the breath away from a packed crowd. The appreciation for his efforts followed a little later in the form of his third league assist of the season, for Akanji's opener.

That, already, was a weight removed from the 20-year-old's shoulders.

"He works a lot to get back in the form that we know of him and I'm very happy on his behalf to score a goal today and play a very good game – I think he was one of our best players today," said teammate Thomas Delaney to bundesliga.com.

Watch: Delaney delighted with Sancho's goal and performance

His clearance and Emre Can's long, looping pass sent Sancho on his way to that overdue maiden season strike in stoppage time, although the England international still had plenty to do after being sent clear.

Knowing his previous 25 shots this season had not found the back of the net, nervousness might have been expected as he left the last Wolfsburg defender in his tracks and bore down on Koen Casteels, the final hurdle between him and that elusive goal.

Instead, he showed the composure of a player oozing confidence, certain of finding the back of the net even with his eyes closed, as he stroked the ball past Casteels into the bottom corner with aplomb.

It prompted a release of the last remaining negativity, and an outpouring of positive vibes.

Watch: Higlights of Dortmund's win over Wolfsburg

"I was pleased with Sancho's great cross for me, and that he then put the ball in the back of the net himself," said Akanji, aware of how much goals and assists mean for a forward.

For others, Sancho's Man of the Matchday-winning performance was hardly surprising.

"I've had the impression he's been putting in a lot of effort for many weeks now," added Watzke. "I think he just needs two or three things to go right for him and then things will quickly take a turn for the better.

"He's still one of the greatest talents around."

With that talent showing signs of flourishing again, a much more positive outlook has swept into Dortmund at the start of a new year, with a new, old Sancho.