Jadon Sancho shines in Borussia Dortmund 1-0 Champions League semi-final first leg win over PSG

Jadon Sancho shines in Borussia Dortmund 1-0 Champions League semi-final first leg win over PSG
Jadon Sancho shines in Borussia Dortmund 1-0 Champions League semi-final first leg win over PSG

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Jadon Sancho rediscovered some of his magic as he helped Borussia Dortmund to a 1-0 victory over Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final clash on Wednesday.

Sancho, who returned to Dortmund on loan in January after an unsuccessful big-money move to Manchester United, was his elusive best as he proved a constant thorn in the Parisians’ side.

Niclas Füllkrug scored the only goal of the game for Die Schwarzgelbensmashing home a left-footed effort past Paris goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma midway through the first half.

Although both sides had chances to add to the scoring tally, neither side could find the required touch with PSG striking the inside of the woodwork twice in the second half – including a brilliant Kylian Mbappé effort – and Dortmund just missing the target on a number of occasions.

It means Dortmund holds a slender one-goal advantage going into the second leg at the Parc des Princes next week.

But the star of the show was Sancho, with the 24-year-old looking like the player he was before his move to Manchester in 2021.

During Wednesday’s game, the winger completed 12 dribbles against PSG, the most by a player in a Champions League semifinal since then Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi in April 2008 against Manchester United (16), per Opta.

Dortmund showed their appreciation for Sancho’s performance, posting on X, formerly known as Twitter: “Can’t get over how STUPENDOUS Jadon was tonight.”

Having initially joined Dortmund as a 17-year-old, Sancho blossomed into one of the most exciting prospects in European football while at the German club.

He scored 50 goals and registered 64 assists in four seasons with Dortmund, before making the move to the Premier League and Manchester United.

In the new environment though, Sancho struggled for consistent form, scoring 12 goals in 82 appearances before a falling out with manager pushed him to the fringes of the Manchester United squad.

His move back to Germany was intended to help him find some of that verve he previously played with, and it appears to have had the desired effect.

“Sancho looks like a different player entirely. His body language is like the player Man United bought, ”former Scotland striker Ally McCoist told TNT during the game.

“You can tell a lot from body language and he wants to take people on and play. He certainly looks rejuvenated. It is confidence, he has his mojo back. “He is in an environment where he is liked and he looks like a different footballer.”

Füllkrug’s goal in the first leg proved to be the difference, but the fine margin of victory sets up the exhilarating prospect of a finely-poised second leg next week with a spot in June’s final against either Real Madrid or Bayern Munich at Wembley Stadium on the line.

 
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