Bundesliga: Sancho-Reus double act keeps heat on Bayern | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 21.04.2019
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Bundesliga: Sancho-Reus double act keeps heat on Bayern

The pressure was on Dortmund to keep the Bundesliga title race alive after Bayern’s victory on Saturday. Jadon Sancho and Marco Reus led the way as Dortmund's forward line returned to form in Freiburg.

In the end it was a routine win for Dortmund. A goal and two assists for Marco Reus and another big contribution from Jadon Sancho was the difference in a game that rarely ventured beyond second gear.

That will matter little to Lucien Favre and Borussia Dortmund, who keep the pressure on Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga, and ensure that the title race extends at least into Matchday 31.

Next weekend’s task for Dortmund, the Ruhr derby against Schalke, promises to be a much more intense assignment than this relaxed, almost lethargic, contest at Freiburg, which had a pre-season feel to it at times. Though Schalke's 5-2 home defeat to Hoffenheim on Saturday doesn't suggest they are in the best of shape.

In the end, the gulf in class between the sides on Sunday was stark. This was not the same Freiburg that held Bayern Munich to a 1-1 draw at this stadium two weeks ago, with Christian Streich’s side struggling to recapture the quality or energy levels that caused Bayern such problems.

Dortmund have now won 14 of the last 16 meetings between the sides, with Freiburg’s last win against the Black and Yellows coming back in May 2010. It’s a fixture that Dortmund have dominated in recent years, and this one never threatened to go off script. 

Sancho opened the scoring from close range after Reus picked him out from the left, but Dortmund didn’t add to their lead until early in the second half. This time Reus got the goal his overall contribution deserved, lazering the ball into the bottom corner after Raphael Guerreiro picked him out with a beautiful reverse pass.

1. Bundesliga | SC Freiburg - Borussia Dortmund | Torjubel (0:1) (picture-alliance/dpa/S. Gollnow)

Dortmund haven't lost any of their last 52 Bundesliga games when leading at half time.

The pick of Dortmund’s goals came 11 minutes from time when Sancho picked up the ball deep inside his own half and drove forward at a terrified and backpeddling Freiburg defence. The 19-year-old burst into the box and picked out his partner in crime, Reus, on the overlap, who put it on a plate for Mario Götze to finish from close-range.

This goal was the Sancho-Reus understanding in a nutshell. A blistering counter-attack, a perfectly-weighted pass to Reus, and the awareness to make all the right passes at the right time. They were given the space in which to operate in by some generous Freiburg defending, but there are few defences in world football that can keep these two at bay when they’re in this kind of mood.

A late Paco Alcacer penalty added the gloss to a fine Dortmund performance dominated by the attacking quality of Sancho and Reus, whose understanding becomes more instinctive with every week. This was yet another game won by the duo’s quick thinking and crisp finishing.

The manner of the victory is important for Dortmund, who go into the Ruhr derby knowing only too well that Schalke will relish the chance to fatally end their title challenge. With four games to go, there’s still only a point in it. Dortmund aren’t going anywhere yet.

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