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Three Observations from Borussia Dortmund’s Crushing Victory Over Bitter Rivals Schalke 04

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Borussia Dortmund traveled to Gelsenkirchen and put FC Schalke 04 to the sword, and Schalke will not recover

FC Schalke 04 v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga
Dortmund players celebrate the derby victory
Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images

Borussia Dortmund absolutely pummeled their bitter rivals Schalke 04, coming out comprehensive winners with four unanswered goals. An Erling Haaland brace was complimented by wonderful goals from Jadon Sancho and Raphael Guerreiro. Dortmund, who produced a rare clean sheet, took a little bit of time to get into rhythm, and it was eventually their counter pressing that paid dividends. In the 42nd minute, Jadon Sancho made a nice challenge at the edge of his own box after losing the ball, which fell back to Mateu Morey. The young Spaniard found Sancho who finished nicely past Schalke’s backup goalkeeper Michael Langer. If you thought Schalke were still in the game at 1-0, you would have been wrong, Sancho was working on the left wing when he floated a cross into Erling Haaland who finished with a spectacular volley into the corner from some distance. That goal was an extra devastating blow that damaged Schalke’s momentum just before the half-time whistle.

Schalke made a couple of changes at the break, but they didn’t do any good. Just fifteen minutes into the second half, Guerreiro made a nice attacking run into the box and played a quick one-two with Captain Marco Reus to get in on goal, before finishing his chance to put Dortmund on easy street. Haaland added another goal in the 79th minute when substitute Jude Bellingham ran in behind on the right side and picked out Haaland surging into the six-yard box for a sweet tap-in goal. Here are some observations from today’s match:

That Erling Haaland guy is pretty good

Seriously, he is a pretty good striker, but we knew that. Sometimes, strikers go through lean spells and difficult periods where they get taken out of games and just do not seem to get the ball where they want it. That doesn’t seem to be the case with Haaland, as even when he gets contained really well defensively, he still pops up with the odd goal. Today was not that kind of day at all, as he dominated from start to finish and was a threat to score constantly. Haaland is on 17 Bundesliga goals, and if he hadn’t missed a handful of games in December, he could easily be up there with Robert Lewandowski for the league lead, despite being only 20 years old.

FC Schalke 04 v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga
Haaland!
Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images

I still believe Haaland has loads to improve in hold up play, passing, and heading, but he tends to always find dangerous situations when the attack is on, and his finishing is exceptional. Does anyone actually strike the ball better than the Norwegian? Sure, you could say Lewandowski and Harry Kane might be better center forwards based on their track records, but I firmly believe that no one strikes the ball better than Haaland, with the way he crushes the ball and follows through with his left foot so accurately. There will come a day where he will want to move on, and it sucks, but it really is a treat that BVB have this young man playing for us, he is absolutely remarkable.

It is just not happening for Julian Brandt

Only last month we were bombarded with rumors of Arsenal coming in for the German playmaker, and most of us felt the move didn’t make sense. Brandt hasn’t played well for Dortmund since last season and you would have thought by now that it would start clicking for him. Playing in a fluid attacking trio behind Haaland, Sancho, and Reus, Brandt mostly occupied the No. 10 area centrally. Continually losing the ball as his flicks and passes failed, Brandt was given the hook around the hour mark after BVB scored the third goal.

Bought from Bayer 04 Leverkusen for a fee of €27.5 million, it felt like Brandt was a steal given he was a regular in the German national team setup and performing brilliantly for former Dortmund manager Peter Bosz at Leverkusen. He was very good in his maiden season for Dortmund last year, but now it seems like Brandt’s poor form is going to carry over into the summer, which begs more questions of what to do with him when Marco Rose arrives.

FC Schalke 04 v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga
Brandt was not good again.
Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images

I really hope someone takes Jadon Sancho off our hands

He only scored one goal and provided one assist today which for a derby game is just not enough. Sancho has been underperforming his entire BVB career and I just hope we can get him off our books this summer. Since arriving in Germany, Sancho has only scored 41 goals and provided only 50 assists via 120 matches in all competitions for Die Schwarzgelben, and it’s just not enough. Is that seriously all he can do? Today Sancho became the youngest player to ever score 35 Bundesliga goals, finally. What took him so long? The club has given Sancho every chance to shine for the club and he should have re-paid that faith with at least a hat-trick of assists and a brace surely.

Rumor has it Gareth Southgate is dropping him from the England set-up; I just hope the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea don’t realize what’s going on and come and take him off our hands. Perhaps we could pay someone to take him of our hands because clearly this guy just doesn’t have it, and isn’t fit to wear the shirt.

FC Schalke 04 v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga
Sancho finally scored, took him 42 minutes.
Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images

Bonus Observation

Besides winning a trophy, nothing is better than a Revierderby win. With that being said, it could be some time before we see this fixture in the Bundesliga again, which is why I want to highlight that. I love to soak up all news Borussia Dortmund, and I get my fix from multiple sources. However, I always seem to run into forums where fans are unhappy with the amount of investment or lack thereof. Look at Schalke. No, look at them. A German giant of a club teetering on bankruptcy and looking extremely likely to fall down a division. It was only five or six years ago where they were debt free, and only a couple years ago where they qualified for the Champions League. Bad investment, poor management, and boardroom scandals now overshadow a great old rival club. Sound familiar?

Let’s remember where BVB were not that long ago and where we have climbed to once again. Dortmund have been re-born with the highs of the Jurgen Klopp era and been perennial Champions League competitors for a long time now. While Dortmund are disappointing this season so far in the league table, take a look at Schalke and remember that it’s more important that we have a club to call our own, and that is exactly what the Borussia Dortmund hierarchy work hard to keep every day.

Your Thoughts

What did you think of today’s match? Tell us what below.