Dortmund's Sancho forms 'special connection' with Reus
LEVERKUSEN, Germany — Jadon Sancho said he has a “special connection” with Marco Reus after linking up for an equaliser in Borussia Dortmund’s come-from-behind 4-2 win at Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday.
Dortmund scored four times in the last 25 minutes to come from two goals down and beat Bayer Leverkusen to pass Bayern Munich and Hertha Berlin at the top of the Bundesliga.
Goals from Jacob Bruun Larsen in the 65th minute, Reus in the 69th and two from Paco Alcacer in the last five minutes overturned a 2-0 lead by Bayer after first-half goals from Mitchell Weiser and Jonathan Tah.
And Sancho, 18, talked to reporters after the game about his relationship with the team captain: “It’s off the pitch and on the pitch. It’s just that special connection. He teaches me a lot of things. He teaches me to be more mature on the ball.
“When I came [to Dortmund], I wasn’t so mature but he just teaches me to be calm and play my game, which helps a lot. He is a great player and I’m so happy I’m playing with him.”
The former Manchester City midfielder has become a super-sub for Lucien Favre. On Saturday, he came off the bench in the 68th minute for the sixth time in six games in the Bundesliga and it took him less than one minute to set up Reus for the 2-2 equaliser.
“It was a counter-attack,” Sancho explained, “Obviously, I had a lot of energy after just being subbed on. I saw Marco Reus and I know that me and him link up really well, so I trusted him, he trusted me. After I passed the first player it was a one-two and an easy goal for Marco.”
The 18-year-old joined BVB in 2017 from City’s youth academy and after playing just a total of 124 minutes in the Bundesliga, he is leading the league with five assists after adding two to his tally in Leverkusen.
However, Sancho said that he finds it more difficult to enter the game off the bench despite his impact as a substitute.
He said: “Obviously, I don’t want to be a sub, so I will just keep working hard in training. It’s not that easy for me as a sub to come on with tempo.”
Meanwhile, Reus, 29, was miffed with his team’s first-half performance and criticised the attitude ahead of the game. He told Sky: “We already looked sloppy during the warm-up. Our bad first half was the logical consequence. Had we not shown a reaction in the second half, the outcome would have looked very, very different.”
The veteran also talked about his new role as team captain after taking over the captaincy from Marcel Schmelzer at the start of the season:
“Obviously, it’s different being the captain,” Reus said. “Today, we once again had a lot of young players on the field and trailing 2-0 away to Leverkusen will leave an impression on them. I’m trying to give the players a connection to find into the game.”
One of the young players was 20-year-old goalscorer Larsen, who made consecutive starts after being on the scoresheet in Dortmund’s 7-0 win over FC Nurnberg on Wednesday.
The Danish midfielder scored BVB’s goal to make it 2-1 in the 65th minute, beating substitute Alcacer to the tap-in from close range. Talking to reporters after the match, Larsen said: “I told Paco that I got the touch [for the 2-1], but I’m extremely happy for him because he once again had an awesome game with two goals.
“Coming back from two goals to win the game shows mentality, character and quality. That’s all in us. That’s Bundesliga and that’s Borussia Dortmund. It was a wild game, the ball was just going from one end to the other.
“We knew that Leverkusen have big quality, especially up front, but we showed that we’re simply better. Especially, when you score four goals against this team it’s outstanding. Going forward, we have to improve so that we aren’t down by two again.”
Dortmund now have 14 points, one ahead of champions Bayern Munich, who suffered their first defeat of the season on Friday with a 2-0 loss at Hertha Berlin.
Information from Reuters were used in this article.