Bayern's Robert Lewandowski (l.) and Dortmund's Jadon Sancho (r.) had the most goals and assists respectively in 2018/19, but did they need to fewest minutes for the opposition's net to ripple? - © 2019 DFL
Bayern's Robert Lewandowski (l.) and Dortmund's Jadon Sancho (r.) had the most goals and assists respectively in 2018/19, but did they need to fewest minutes for the opposition's net to ripple? - © 2019 DFL

Lewandowski, Sancho and the Top 10 Bundesliga players by goals or assists per minute

Robert Lewandowski topped the scoring charts with 22 goals, Jadon Sancho laid on the most assists with 14, but were they the most ruthlessly efficient players of the season? takes a closer look at the players he needed the least time to either score or assist in 2018/19…

1. Paco Alcacer (Borussia Dortmund)
Goals: 18
Assists: 0
Minutes played: 1,203
Minutes per goal: 66

Watch: All of Alacacer's Hinrunde goals!

It hardly seems fair: you think you've safely seen off the best Borussia Dortmund can throw at you in Marco Reus, Jadon Sancho and Mario Götze and then Paco Alcacer comes off the bench.

The least surprising bit of business done this season was Dortmund activating their option to buy the Spain international midway through his season-long loan from Barcelona. That happened on Black Friday in early February. Did someone say, 'Bargain of the century'?

He found the net with every single one of his first 10 shots in the German top flight. Every. Shot. When he found scored - brilliantly out-waiting Manuel Neuer to chip the Bayern Munich goalkeeper and win the Matchday 11 Klassiker — his eight league goals had come at the rate of one every 29 minutes.

He slowed as the season went on, but only just. Alcacer ended on 18 goals from 26 league appearances, just 11 of which were starts. He was on the pitch for a mere 1,203 minutes last season, scoring at a rate of one goal every 66 minutes, making him the most efficient striker in Bundesliga history.

And the secret? “It’s a little bit of everything," said the 25-year-old ex-Valencia striker. "Luck, self-confidence, the trust of the coach, games, and above all putting work in every day."

2. Reiss Nelson (Hoffenheim)
Goals: 7
Assists: 0
Minutes played: 628
Minutes per goal: 89

Arsenal youngster Reiss Nelson kissed goodbye to Hoffenheim having scored every 89 minutes he played for them. - 2019 DFL

All parties can be happy with how the English youngster's season-long loan went in Sinsheim. Arsenal will get back a player who has confirmed his potential over the campaign, Hoffenheim got seven goals at a very healthy rate of return with his debut strike in the Matchday 3 defeat in Düsseldorf setting the tone for a breakneck start to life in Germany.

Six of his strikes came in his first 325 minutes in the Bundesliga - that's an Alcacer-esque finding of the net every 54 minutes. "He has made a very good impression," said boss Julian Nagelsmann early in the season. "He has already performed well and will play even better in the Rückrunde, that's relatively certain."

The new RB Leipzig coach was - for once - off the mark. Nelson's second half to the season proved trickier as the 19-year-old suffered injuries and saw Andrej Kramaric and Ishak Belfodil - ably assisted by Joelinton - form a front line there was little shame in him not being able to fully break into.

3. Sebastian Haller (Eintracht Frankfurt)
Goals: 15
Assists: 9
Minutes played: 2,181
Minutes per goal: 90

"The number one striker for goals AND assists? You're looking at him" - Sebastien Haller proved himself to be arguably the most complete striker in the league for Eintracht Frankfurt in 2018/19. - 2019 DFL

The French forward can happily lay claim to being the Bundesliga's most efficient all-round player of 2018/19 by guaranteeing to either score or set up a goal every single complete game he was on the pitch.

Eintracht Frankfurt teammate Luka Jovic got two more goals, but Haller registered four more assists than the new Real Madrid striker in Frankfurt's seventh-placed effort. But for a stomach muscle strain sustained late in the campaign that forced him to sit out five matches, those numbers would surely have been even more impressive.

4. Marco Reus (Dortmund)
Goals: 17
Assists: 8
Minutes played: 2,322
Minutes per goal: 92

Watch: 15 of Reus's 17 Bundesliga goals last term!

You cannot overstate the importance of the Dortmund captain to their 2018/19 season. Neither can Thomas Delaney.

“You can’t replace him,” the Denmark international midfielder told Eurosport. “When he’s in the side we have a clear path forward because we know he’s leading us."

Delaney added Reus "isn't the most talkative", but the Germany international certainly led by glorious example. Dortmund found the net 81 times last season - Reus was involved in no fewer than 25 of those strikes, virtually a third of all the team's goals, at a rate of once every 92 minutes.

5. Jadon Sancho (Dortmund)
Goals: 12
Assists: 14
Minutes played: 2,462
Minutes per goal: 94

Watch: Jadon Sancho under the tactical microscope

You have to get excited when a 19-year-old finishes top of the Bundesliga's assists chart in only his second season in Germany.

Sancho's 2018/19 campaign was nothing short of exceptional, slotting in seamlessly alongside the seasoned Reus and Götze, but not looking out of place in such esteemed company. In fact, he often outshone them.

Sancho's problem now is how does he top last season? It promises to be breath-taking watching him try.

6. Claudio Pizarro (Werder Bremen)
Goals: 5
Assists: 2
Minutes played: 674
Minutes per goal: 96

He may be 40, but Claudio Pizarro (l.) remains as focused as ever, having extended his Werder Bremen deal by another year. - 2018 DFL

More than twice Sancho's age, the 40-year-old might have lost some speed in his legs, but his sense for being in the right place at the right time to put the ball in the net remains as acute as ever.

He broke the Bundesliga record as the German top-flight's most senior goalscorer when he struck against Hertha Berlin on Matchday 22, and extended it with his strike in the 2-1 defeat of RB Leipzig on the final day of the campaign.

The iconic Peruvian did lose his crown as the Bundesliga's top foreign-born goalscorer to the irrepressible Robert Lewandowski during 2018/19, but having signed on for the 10th German top-flight campaign of his career, he hasn't stopped scoring yet…

7. Ishak Belfodil (Hoffenheim)
Goals: 16
Assists: 3
Minutes played: 1,864
Minutes per goal: 98

In Joelinton, Ishak Belfodil and Reiss Nelson (l-r.), Hoffenheim were spoilt for attacking options last term, but the Algerian still managed to stand out. - 2018 DFL

It has taken some time for Belfodil, now 27, to make good on the potential he showed as a teenager at Lyon, but for Hoffenheim fans, it was certainly worth the wait.

A circuitous route to Sinsheim via Italy, the Middle East and Belgium suggested the Bundesliga side were taking a hit-or-miss gamble. After a slow start, it has resoundingly proved to be the former with the Algeria international hitting a rare vein of form with 12 of his 16 goals — including a maiden senior hat-trick in the Matchday 28 rout of Augsburg — an impressive Rückrunde return.

8. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern)
Goals: 22
Assists: 7
Minutes played: 2,959
Minutes per goal: 102

Watch: What makes Lewandowski so special?

Death, taxes, and Robert Lewandowski scoring goals. Thanks to the Bayern striker, there may in fact be three certainties in this world. The Bavarians endured a difficult start under Niko Kovac, and at one point trailed leaders Dortmund by nine points, but with Lewandowski to call upon, Bayern always knew that goals were not far away.

His haul of 22 - four more than closest challenger Alcacer - saw him lift the Torjägerkanone as the Bundesliga's top scorer for the third time in four seasons, and helped steer Bayern to a seventh consecutive title, and he even chipped in with seven assists - more than any centre-forward not called Haller - to boot.

9. Luka Jovic (Frankfurt)
Goals: 17
Assists: 5
Minutes played: 2,248
Minutes per goal: 102

Watch: Jovic scoring goals left, right and centre

Jovic, Haller and Ante Rebic formed as deadly a front three as any in Europe last term, helping Die Adler through to the UEFA Europa League semi-finals, where they were edged on penalties by eventual champions Chelsea.

While Jovic added 10 goals on the continent, his domestic form really caught the eye. His Goal of the Season contender against Fortuna on Matchday 8 came as part of a FIVE-goal haul in a 7-1 win. Left foot, right foot, head - Jovic doesn't care how he scores. Have Real found their long-term successor to Ronaldo? Last season's stats augur well…

10. Lucas Alario (Leverkusen)
Goals: 9
Assists: 3
Minutes played: 1,255
Minutes per goal: 104

Target man Lucas Alario (l.) will hope for more starts at the head of Leverkusen's attack after contributing to a goal every 104 minutes in the season just gone. - 2018 DFL

Havertz grabbed the headlines at Leverkusen with a barely fathomable 17 goals from midfield; Kevin Volland had the hand in most goals (23); while Julian Brandt's form saw him seal a summer transfer to Dortmund. But in terms of ruthless efficiency, nobody outdid Alario.

The Argentine striker only started 11 games - 21 fewer than Volland - but that didn't stop him from finding the target nine times, with a further three assists for good measure. "It's important he's with us," said coach Peter Bosz in January. Seven Rückrunde goals later and the Dutchman's faith was repaid - every 104 minutes in the end.

Top 10 goals or assists by minutes played

1. P. Alcacer (18 goals/1,203 minutes)
2. R. Nelson (7 goals/628 minutes)
3. S. Haller (15 goals/9 assists/2,181 minutes)
4. M. Reus (17 goals/8 assists/2,322 minutes)
5. J. Sancho (12 goals/14 assists/2,462 minutes)
6. C. Pizarro (5 goals/2 assists/674 minutes)
7. I. Belfodil (16 goals/3 assists/1,864 minutes)
8. R. Lewandowski (22 goals/7 assists/2,959 minutes)
9. L. Jovic (17 goals/5 assists/2,248 minutes)
10. L. Alario (9 goals/3 assists/1,255 minutes)