DORTMUND, Germany (Reuters) – Borussia Dortmund’s blistering start to the season under new manager Lucien Favre gathered momentum as the Bundesliga leaders consigned ailing AS Monaco to a 3-0 defeat in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Dortmund’s young Danish striker Jacob Bruun Larsen, brought on at the break after a mediocre first half from Favre’s unbeaten high-flyers, broke the deadlock within six minutes before strikes from Paco Alcacer and captain Marco Reus heaped more misery on Monaco.
Dortmund’s storming second-half display kept them at the top of Group A alongside Atletico Madrid, with both sides on a maximum six points, but for Monaco, who have not won any of their last nine matches, it was another low point in a dismal season.
They are stuck pointless at the foot of the group alongside Club Bruges, who lost 3-1 at Atletico on Wednesday.
The 20-year-old Bruun Larsen’s neat finish after being picked out by a superb through ball from 18-year-old English prospect Jadon Sancho enabled Dortmund to relax and take control after a misfiring first 45 minutes.
Alcacer hit the bar with his 69th-minute penalty after Reus had been brought down by Kamil Glik, but the Spaniard soon made amends by rounding substitute keeper Danijel Subasic to slot home the German side’s second.
Reus completed the comfortable win by slotting home the third from a narrow angle in stoppage time as Dortmund celebrated a ninth match unbeaten under Favre.
Bruun Larsen and Sancho are two of the exciting prospects who have helped to breathe new life into Dortmund since the experienced 60-year-old Swiss coach took the reins in May.
Bruun Larsen, who had scored his first Dortmund goals in their last two Bundesliga matches, told UEFA.com: “Scoring was a great feeling, especially in this competition.
“It became easier for us after that goal. Things are working well for me because of all the hard work I put in, it’s as simple as that.”
Things are also working well for the highly-rated Sancho, who has rapidly earned the nickname of “King of the Assists” because of the half-dozen goals he has helped make for team mates.
“I don’t know why I am only assisting and not scoring,” he laughed. “I keep moving into the right positions and then I see someone better positioned so I pass it.
“I have made so many steps forward here, learning from the great players around me on the training pitch and during the games.”
Monaco had started more brightly than the home side and came closest to breaking the deadlock when a fine 30-metre shot from Youri Tielemans forced an excellent acrobatic stop from Roman Burki.
Alcacer curled a left-footer just wide for Dortmund and Marius Wolf brought a fine save from Diego Benaglio, who had to hobble off before the break due to injury.
Croatian World Cup hero Subasic came on for his first match since the final in Russia after an injury layoff, but his return proved a tough one as Monaco made it 10 matches without a Champions League win.
(Reporting by Ian Chadband, editing by Ed Osmond)