Erling Braut Haaland broke yet another Champions League record on Tuesday as he fired Borussia Dortmund a step closer to the knockout stages with two goals in a 3-0 win over Club Brugge.
Haaland’s 18th-minute opener against Brugge saw him reach 15 Champions League goals in fewer games than any other player in the competition’s history.
The 20-year-old Norwegian hit the milestone in just 12 appearances, smashing the previous record of 19 games held by Ruud van Nistelrooy and Roberto Soldado.
“Erling is a fantastic player. He works hard on and off the pitch and he deserves everything that’s coming his way,” said team-mate Jadon Sancho, who provided the assist for Haaland’s opener.
“I’m just happy that I can get my assists more easily because he’s so clinical,” Sancho told broadcaster DAZN.
Haaland added another in the second half to take his tally to 16, as he and Dortmund annihilated Brugge to defend top spot in Group F and move within touching distance of qualification for the second round.
With two games to go, Lucien Favre’s side are now five points clear of third place and a point ahead of second-placed Lazio, who beat Zenit Saint Petersburg 3-1 on Tuesday.
Dortmund were predictably dominant in the first half, and it took Haaland just 70 seconds to send a shot fizzing past the Brugge post.
The Norwegian found the net on 18 minutes, placing a low shot past Simon Mignolet after Sancho set him up with an elegant through ball.
Sancho, who has faced criticism this season and was dropped to the bench for Dortmund’s league win at Hertha Berlin last weekend, was in excellent form upon his return to the starting XI.
The 20-year-old Englishman doubled Dortmund’s lead on the stroke of half-time, curling a free-kick into the top corner after compatriot Jude Bellingham was fouled on the edge of the box.
“I’ve been practising my free-kicks recently, so I’m happy it came off today,” said Sancho.
“I’m just happy I’m playing and that I have coaches who believe in me. It’s been a hard situation for me recently, but it’s all about how I come back,” he added.
Haaland put the game beyond reach on the hour mark, gratefully pouncing on an inadvertent assist from Brugge midfielder Ruud Vormer and sweeping the ball in from close range.