Germany: Bundesliga
0 - 3
(0 - 1)
J. Brandt (24), M. Reus (77), Y. Moukoko (90)
By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Sancho registers assist in Dortmund dismantling of Darmstadt

New star Borussia Dortmund acquisitions Ian Maatsen and Jadon Sancho both played a positive role on Saturday night as Borussia Dortmund were able to snap a six-match winless run and begin the new calendar year with an important victory over Darmstadt. 
Borussia Dortmund have snapped their six-match winless run with a 3-0 win over SV Darmstadt 98 in their first fixture of the new calendar year. Edin Terzic's BVB concluded their 2023/24 "Hin-Runde" with a victory that sees them cement a hold on fifth-place in the table at the official midway point of the season. Torsten Lieberknecht's Lillies, meanwhile, remain in last place halfway through the campaign.

BVB trainer Terzic made two changes to the XI that drew Mainz 1-1 just before Christmas. Newly acquired left-back Ian Maatsen was inserted into the starting lineup immediately, taking over for the on-international duty Ramy Bensebaini. Terzic also had to do without center back Mats Hummels on short notice. Dortmund captain Emré Can slid into central defense while Salih Özcan took Hummels' spot in the squad.

SV gaffer Torsten Lieberknecht also employed two changes to his last squad; a successful constellation that drew Hoffenheim 3-3. Matej Maglica and captain Fabian Holland returned to the starting blocks in place of Thomas Isherwood and Klaus Gjasula. Liberknecht's Lillies maintained their 3-5-2 shape from the most recent league fixture.

The Westphalian guests struggled to find their rhythm during the opening stages of the match, though Maatsen was able to make some notable incursions on the left in his debut. Maatsen set up Julian Brandt for the first real chance of the match in the 20th. Four minutes after that, Brandt scored the opening goal. The 1-0 wasn't Dortmund's most dazzling tally of the season.

Jamie Bynoe Gittens sent Brandt through after a nice individual dribble. Though Brandt didn't strike the ball very emphatically, it was angled well enough to get past SV keeper Marcel Schuhen. There were no further major scoring chances from Terzic's side in the opening 45. Tim Skarke recorded one worthwhile chance for the hosts before it was time to head into the tunnel.

A great deal of the action also took place in midfield after the restart. To the delight of German footballing enthusiasts everywhere, Jadon Sancho entered the match in the 55th. The Englishman did his utmost to affect play, clearly showing some signs of rust and timing problems following his time spent off the pitch. Sancho would record an assist on Dortmund's second goal.

Can and Donyell Malen did well to play Sancho into a useful position in the 77th. The celebrated BVB returnee then played a square ball for the just subbed on Marco Reus. The former BVB skipper was able to finish via a simple tap-in. Reus' fellow sub Youssoufa Moukoko was able to add a third goal at 90+2. Moukoko hammered home the 3-0 following a nice combo with Marcel Sabitzer.

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