‘Cage football’ – Dortmund – PSG 1:0

Welcome back, Jadon Sancho!

Dortmund dominated the opening period and deserved their win, but their lead remained only by the narrowest of margins as Kylian Mbappe and Achraf Hakimi were denied by either post in the same move, before Fabian Ruiz headed a golden chance wide.

Where has Jadon Sancho been for three years? No, not the one who underperformed before being exiled by Manchester United then sent back to Germany. Where was this version, the mercurial and electric winger, who can change a game with his nifty turns and clever bag of tricks?

On Wednesday, Sancho in all of his creative glory showed up, stealing the spotlight from Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe, who was smothered in a wall of Borussia Dortmund shirts. It all amounted to an enthralling 1-0 Dortmund win that really could have finished 4-4.

In the first half, while the Parisians poked and prodded, the visitors took their chance, as Nico Schlotterbeck’s lofted pass found Niclas Fullkrug, whose left-footed shot fizzed past Gianluigi Donnarumma and into the net.

The Parisians had their chances, though, and should have equalised on a number of occasions after the break. Mbappe and Achraf Hakimi both saw efforts ping off either post, before Fabian Ruiz nodded wide with the goal gaping.

The rest of the clash was marked by the dizzying legs of Sancho, and the chronic inability of players at both ends of the pitch to put the ball in the net, as Ousmane Dembele, Mbappe, Fullkrug and Marcel Sabitzer all missed presentable chances.

In the end, though, all the talk was of the contrast between Sancho and Mbappe on a night where the former reminded the world of his ability, while the latter’s promise to bring European glory to his home town before he leaves was dented somewhat.

WINNER: Niclas Fullkrug

Two years ago, Fullkrug was an underappreciated talent, a big, powerful striker plying his trade for a team in Werder Bremen who were never truly likely to compete for the biggest honours. A move to Dortmund certainly raised his profile, but he hasn’t quite become the prolific goal-scorer some thought he might be. Still, he has a tendency to crop up in big moments, and so he did here.

Dortmund knew that Fullkrug’s power would be a problem through the middle, with neither Marquinhos nor Lucas Hernandez known for their physical nature of play. His goal was a classic sort for a physical striker, as he barrelled in behind, took one touch to bring the ball out of the air before smashing home with his second.

He had a couple of similar efforts in the second half and, one big miss notwithstanding, created chaos all evening. Terzic’s side aren’t blessed with immense firepower, but Fullkrug provided a much-needed spark.

source – ‘Cage football’ Jadon Sancho is back and he outshines Kylian Mbappe as Rio Ferdinand asks: ‘What happened at Manchester United?’ | talkSPORT

Niclas Fullkrug