Jadon Sancho pointed to the sky after scoring Borussia Dortmund’s winning goal for a 2-1 victory over the club’s biggest rival, Schalke, on Saturday.
Then came the tears.
Sancho dedicated the goal to his recently deceased grandmother after becoming Dortmund’s youngest goal-scorer in the Ruhr derby, Germany’s biggest, at age 18.
“The goal means everything to my family. Sadly my grandmother passed away so that goal was for her,” the England winger said. “I’m glad that I got the goal and helped the team get three points.”
Sancho’s classy finish kept Dortmund nine points clear of Bundesliga defending champion Bayern Munich, which kept pace and moved second with a 3-0 win over promoted Nuremberg in their Bavarian derby in Munich.
But Sancho’s thoughts were elsewhere.
“It was a difficult week for him,” Dortmund coach Lucien Favre said. “Jadon only came back yesterday evening from London. But he really wanted to train and play.”
Sancho sealed the unbeaten visitors’ 11th win from 14 games with a fine finish in the 74th minute, restoring Dortmund’s lead after Daniel Caligiuri equalized from the penalty spot. Thomas Delaney had given Dortmund an early lead.
Dortmund’s players celebrated with gusto in front of the traveling support. It was the club’s first derby win in three years.
Delaney became the team’s 16th scorer in the league this season – a Bundesliga record at this stage – when he guided Marco Reus’ free kick past Ralf Faehrmann in the Schalke goal.
Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Buerki then thwarted Guido Bergstaller in the home side’s best chance. The Schalke forward had to go off injured shortly afterward.
Caligiuri’s penalty came after the hour mark. The spot kick was awarded through VAR – after play had continued – for a foul by Reus on Amine Harit. The Dortmund captain complained vehemently against the decision.
Tempers frayed afterward, leading to a melee. Achraf Hakimi was booked for shoving, minutes before Reus followed his teammate in the referee’s notebook for a tactical foul.
Sancho, already a firm favorite among Dortmund fans for his outstanding season, endeared himself further with the winner. Sancho eluded two defenders and played a one-two with Raphael Guerreiro to evade another before he curled the ball inside the far post.
Robert Lewandowski scored twice in the first half for Bayern, which appears to have put talk of a crisis behind it after three consecutive wins across all competitions.
But Nuremberg was always going to be a welcome guest in Munich, where it hadn’t won in 14 games. The promoted side has only two wins since its return to the top flight and was thrashed 7-0 in Dortmund and 6-0 in Leipzig.
Franck Ribery sealed Bayern’s win with his first goal of the season in the second half, which had been delayed after home fans threw hundreds of rolls of toilet paper toward the field.
Also, Freiburg defeated Leipzig 3-0 at home, Bayer Leverkusen earned a 1-0 win at home over Augsburg, and Wolfsburg and Hoffenheim drew 2-2.
Marko Grujic’s first-half header was enough for Hertha Berlin to defeat Eintracht Frankfurt 1-0 in the late game to climb to sixth, level on 23 points with the visitors, who slumped to their second straight defeat.
Source: The Associated Press