Borussia Dortmund’s fantastic five: Reus, Sancho, Bruun Larsen, Alcacer and Pulisic | Bundesliga 2018/19
With Marco Reus, Jadon Sancho, Paco alcacer, Brunn Larsen and Christian Pulisic on fire this season, Borussia Dortmund have hardly ever been in such good shape when it comes to their attack.
Not since the prolific days of Robert Lewandowski and Mario Götze, who inspired them to back-to-back Bundesliga wins in 2011 and 2012, have the Westphalians boasted such a bounty of goal scoring options, and in a game where goals are the most precious commodity, their current numbers add up to a winning formula.
With 23 scored in their opening seven Bundesliga games – at an average of over three per game – it is no surprise that BVB are currently leading the way. However, what makes that statistic all the more impressive is the way they have spread the burden, rather than relying on just one figure to fire the ball home.
Marco Reus - 6 goals, 4 assists (in all competitions)
Reus was around when the prolific Lewandowski and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were the ones putting the finishing touches to his creativity, but the Germany international is now doing both jobs, and he is already on track to set a new personal best. With six goals and four assists to his name, his best ever season of 2013/14 – when he scored 21 and created 20 – is looking threatened.
Jadon Sancho - 1 goal, 7 assists
Sancho became the first English player born in the new millennium to be called up to the senior England national team this week, but that will come as no coincidence considering the impact he has had on Dortmund's excellent start to the season. He has raised the bar after setting up four goals in 12 appearances of his maiden Bundesliga season, and he already has six to his name this term. Furthermore, he found the back of the net in the 7-0 win over Nuremberg and subsequently extended his contract through to 2022.
Jacob Bruun Larsen - 3 goals, 2 assists
If one Reus were not already enough, Dortmund appear to have two with Bruun Larsen emulating a man he names as a personal inspiration with three goals and two assists, including his first strikes in the Bundesliga and the UEFA Champions League.
Christian Pulisic - 2 goals, one assist
Pulisic is a perfect fit in Favre's quick, counterattacking footballing philosophy, thanks to his ability on the ball, both at holding it up and powering forward. His dynamism and perpetually refining understanding with the likes of Reus and Sancho enable him to penetrate into the gaps, thus reinforcing his goalscoring threat and ensuring Dortmund's danger can – and does – arrive from anywhere
Paco Alcacer - 6 goals
With all these creative outlets, having a player who can provide the finishing touch is equally essential, and in Alcacer, Dortmund have drafted in a proverbial glazed cherry up top. The Barcelona loanee needed just one touch of the ball in the Bundesliga to show exactly why he cannot be afforded an inch with the goal in sight, and that was a sign of things to come. The way he has been linking up with Reus and Sancho in the final third also augurs well for BVB, particularly as he appears to be thriving more on their service than he ever did with none other than Lionel Messi.
He also subscribes to the notion that the team is the real star, and not the individual. "Borussia Dortmund play at the collective level," he said after scoring on his debut against Eintracht Frankfurt. "They give everything for the shirt when they go out on the pitch. Therefore, if the team is doing well, everything will be better for the players. Dortmund like possession but are more direct. So that's good too."
It is when you have a player of Alcacer's undeniable ability ahead you can feed the onion bag without a fuss, as he confirmed on Matchday 7 with a 34-minute hat-trick in Dortmund's dramatic 4-3 win over Augsburg, taking him to six goals in just 81 minutes on the field this season.