Borussia Dortmund forward Jadon Sancho joined an elite company starring Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo with his goals against Paderborn. The English starlet grabbed a second-half hat-trick to fire his side to a 6-1 victory in Sunday's Bundesliga encounter.
Following a relatively drab first 45 minutes, Dortmund was steered on course to grabbing its emphatic victory through Thorgan Hazard's opener in the 54th minute. Three minutes later, Julian Brandt set-up Jadon Sancho for his first goal of the day. The strike, which was the attacker's first since the season was restored, was celebrated with a tribute to George Floyd - the African-American man who died after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck on May 25th, 2020.
Back in the starting line up, back with a goal!— Ja! Watch the Bundesliga live on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 31, 2020
Dortmund score twice to break Paderborn's resolve...
Bundesliga goals for Sancho this season pic.twitter.com/TiNhpAFje8
In essence, Sancho joined Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Suarez, and Eden Hazard as the only five players who have scored 15 or more goals, and have assisted the same number of goals in a single season in Europe's top-five leagues since 2006. Messi has done so four times in the last 14 years, Hazard on two occasions whereas Ronaldo and Suarez have done it once.
Sancho will go on to increase his haul by combining with Thorgan Hazard for his second goal of the game after Uwe Hunemeier had pulled one back for the visitors via a penalty kick. On-loan Real Madrid full-back Hakimi Achraf was assisted by substitute Marcel Schmelzer to make it 4-1 in the 85th minute before the Dortmund veteran got himself on the scoresheet four minutes later. The former followed in the footstep of Weston McKennie, Marcus Thuram and Jadon Sancho to also pay tribute to George Floyd.
Borussia Dortmund's Achraf Hakimi with the same shirt and message that his teammate Sancho did in his celebration following his team's fourth goal. No matter the race or background you come from, the unity within the message remains the same. #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/ddz1sdGuZV— Roberto Rojas (@RobertoRojas97) May 31, 2020
Sancho subsequently sealed his first senior career hat-trick for Die BVB in the 91st minute with an assist from debutant Mateu Morey. As a result, he became the first English player to score a hat-trick in one of the other top five European leagues since 1989. Brian Stein was the last to do so for Caen against Cannes in Ligue 1 on this very day 31 years ago.
With 17 goals and 16 assists, the former Manchester City academy star is the first English player to secure more than 15 goals and 15 assists in a single season in the top five European leagues since Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier in the 1994-95 Premier League season.
Nice company to be in https://t.co/8KfGcXJAsg— Matt Le Tissier (@mattletiss7) May 31, 2020