While it was undoubtedly an impressive performance from the whole team to win the revierderby, the result was undoubtedly won by two of Dortmund’s most important players: Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland.
Sancho and Haaland dominate Schalke
Although Schalke have struggled for much of the season, the Royal Blues put up a stubborn defence for much of the first half until Sancho finally found a breakthrough a few minutes before half time.
Despite an earnest effort to play the ball out of defence, Schalke midfielder Benjamin Stambouli was caught in possession just outside his box by Sancho and was forced to watch in vain as the England international strolled into the Schalke box and tucked the ball into the top right corner with relative ease.
As impressive as that was, Sancho’s goal was quickly overshadowed by one he helped create just three minutes later. After picking up the ball on the left flank, the winger picked out Haaland at the back post with a floated cross. The Norwegian striker, with his back to goal, then composed himself and fired a volley into the back of the net for what must be one of the contenders for goal of the season.
However, a truly outstanding goal wasn't enough for Haaland. Late on in the second half the Norwegian striker then got on the end of a Jude Bellingham cross to tap home a finish that any poacher would have been proud of.
Dortmund did pick up a goal that wasn't scored or created by either Haaland or Sancho, when a wonderful one-two counter attacking from Marco Reus and Raphael Guerreiro found the club's third, but in truth it was another game in which Haaland and Sancho dominated the match and ultimately won it for their team.
How good have Haaland and Sancho been in 2021?
Of course, these kind of performances will come as no surprise to regular viewers of Dortmund’s games this season. Especially anyone that has been watching the Bundesliga side since the turn of the year.
Although the Manchester United transfer target was undoubtedly off the pace in the first half of the season, Sancho has returned to full fitness and with it a tremendous return to form. In just 11 games since the turn of the year Sancho has provided an incredible six goals and six assists.
Remarkably, Haaland seems to have been even more impressive in front of goal for Edin Terzic’s side since we kicked off the new year. The striker has clocked one more goal contribution than Sancho in Dortmund’s last 11 games, with 10 goals and then a further three assists in that time.
Dortmund may not be anywhere near the top of the Bundesliga table but in Sancho and Haaland they have two of the most impressive players in the world performing each week and winning games for the club.