An Erling Haaland brace and a goal from Jadon Sancho gave Borussia Dortmund all three points in an entertaining 3-1 win away to RB Leipzig on Saturday.
Following Bayern Munich’s defeat to Borussia Mönchengladbach on Friday, this game represented a unique opportunity for these sides to make up ground at the top of the table. As such, they both began at a frenetic pace, each team surging forward in numbers when they had the ball and sprinting back to recover when not in possession. It made for a breathless spectacle, but goalscoring chances were few and far between as the sides cancelled each other out. Leipzig just about edged their visitors in terms of territory, and had the better openings – such as they were. Marcel Halstenberg saw a shot blocked from the edge of the area, while Tyler Adams was the only player to get behind the BVB defence, but his attempted cross to the unmarked Angelino at the back post was cut out by Manuel Akanji.
The second half was a much more open affair, and Dortmund gradually began to take control of proceedings. Marco Reus forced a smart save from Peter Gulacsi from a tight angle as BVB broke forward on the counter-attack in a sign of things to come. Haaland had a shot blocked and also hit the crossbar, while Raphael Guerreiro and Sancho fired off target and as Leipzig struggled to deal with wave after wave of black-and-yellow attacks. The pressure took its toll in the 55th minute when Reus back-heeled Haaland’s cross into Sancho’s path, and the 20-year-old swept home at the back post. Sancho added an assist a short while later following a flowing team move, crossing deep for Haaland to power in a header at the far post. Leipzig tried to muster a response and almost pulled one back when Dani Olmo surged between two defenders into the box, but his low shot hit the post, while Angelino could only fire into the wall from a free-kick in a dangerous position. Haaland made sure of the win in the closing stages though, latching on to Reus' through-ball before rounding Gulacsi and slotting into the empty net, rendering Alexander Sorloth's maiden Bundesliga goal in the 90th minute no more than scant consolation for the hosts.
- Having gone the first 13 matchdays without scoring, Sancho now has two goals in his last two games.
- The England international became the youngest player ever to reach 32 Bundesliga goals, doing so in his 91st league outing.
- Haaland now has 25 goals in his first 25 Bundesliga matches - a league record.
- Sorloth netted his first top-flight goal in Germany in his 14th appearance.
- Dortmund are unbeaten in their last six meetings with Leipzig and, along with Bayern, are the only other team to have recorded at least four Bundesliga wins over the Saxony outfit.
- Nagelsmann has only won one of 10 meetings with Dortmund as head coach (D4, L5).
Watch: Haaland: "We knew we would get the chances"
Leipzig: Gulacsi - Orban, Upamecano, Halstenberg - Adams, Sabitzer (c) (Klostermann 61'), Haidara (Hwang 71'), Angelino - Forsberg (Sorloth 61'), Olmo - Poulsen (Samardzic 88')
Unused subs: Martinez, Mukiele, Borkowski, Martel, Wosz
Out: Henrichs (knee), Kampl (leg), Kluivert (calf), Konate (ankle), Laimer (knee), Nkunku (ankle), Szoboszlai (groin)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
Dortmund: Bürki - Meunier, Akanji, Hummels, Guerreiro - Witsel (Can 30'), Delaney (Zagadou 69') - Sancho (Tigges 85'), Reus (c) (Brandt 85'), Reyna - Haaland
Unused subs: Unbehaun, Morey, Schulz, Moukoko, Piszczek
Out: Bellingham (knock), Dahoud (not included), Hazard (thigh), Hitz (not included), Passlack (not included), Reinier (not included), Schmelzer (knee)
Coach: Edin Terzic
Watch: Sancho: "I came back raring to go"