Talking Points from Borussia Dortmund’s 3-0 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach

Erling Haaland and Gio Reyna scored for Borussia Dortmund (Photo by Alex Gottschalk/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
Erling Haaland and Gio Reyna scored for Borussia Dortmund (Photo by Alex Gottschalk/DeFodi Images via Getty Images) /
2 of 5
Gio Reyna scored the opener for Borussia Dortmund (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Gio Reyna scored the opener for Borussia Dortmund (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images) /

Reyna, Bellingham, Sancho and Haaland all shine as Dortmund attack strikes thrice

Borussia Dortmund’s impressive showing against Gladbach came in large part to the immense contributions of their younger cohort. The long awaited start to their season did not disappoint as Gio Reyna, Jadon Sancho, Erling Haaland and Jude Bellingham all chipped in to make sure Die Schwarzgelben took home the three points from the fixture.

It took 34 minutes for Borussia Dortmund to break the deadlock, but it was well worth the wait to see Gio Reyna score his first Bundesliga goal in black and yellow. A nicely curled ball into the box by Emre Can was met by the young American, only to be very briefly returned to Gladbach’s possession. A mis-touch by the defender allowed Dortmund debutant Jude Bellingham to get ahold of the ball and lay it off to Reyna, who ghosted between the Gladbach defense and slotted home past keeper Yann Sommer.

It was a very intricate move that Bellingham and Reyna managed to pull off, which goes to show that despite their age the two of them are ready to impress on the big stage. Both Reyna and Bellingham would continue to be an immense problem for Gladbach, with Bellingham providing a never ending source of energy from the middle of the park for Dortmund, both cutting out passes and linking the defence and attacking that showed a maturity well beyond his years.

Reyna would also go on to win a penalty early in the second half after being brought down in the box by Gladbach’s Remy Bensebaini with a late challenge that clipped his right foot. After a short discussion with Jadon Sancho, Erling Haaland stepped up and buried the shot to extend Dortmund’s lead to 2-0. Haaland’s penalty would give Dortmund the extra wind in their sails to push on and get a third, courtesy of slick interplay between Haaland and Sancho.

In the 77th minute, a slight commotion in the box after a Gladbach corner led to Mats Hummels cheating the ball in the path of Jadon Sancho, who put together a lung bursting run all the way to the edge of Gladbach’s box. He sprayed forth a teasing ball for Erling Haaland to run onto, and the Norwegian international made no mistakes as he notched his second of the season in style past Sommer.

What makes Dortmund’s attacking performance so special was the fact that there was so much uncertainty about how all these youngsters would perform when faced against quality opposition, which Gladbach of course is. Pre-season is always one thing. Reyna and Bellingham had both impressed before the return of the league, but Duisburg was never going to be the team they were truly going to be measured against. Today they proved that their capabilities extend to situations where it matters most – against fellow title and Champions League contenders. They were directly involved in giving Dortmund the start to the season that was required.

As for Sancho and Haaland, their quality was of course never in doubt. Haaland may have had a quiet preseason but came up big when it mattered, opening his account for the season in front of the fans that have been sorely missed at the Westfalenstadion. Sancho, for his part, started off rather tamely against Gladbach but rose to the occasion and made his impact, putting up his first assist for the season, one of many I’m sure. His sheer pace, determination to get up the pitch, and ability to calmly lay the ball off to Haaland highlight why he will be one of Dortmund’s driving forces this season, just as he was last year. The understanding these two have will play a crucial role in whether Dortmund are finally able to secure some silverware this season.