Borussia Dortmund continued their 100% start to the season as they saw off Hertha Berlin in their second league game of the season. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nuri Sahin scored either side of the break to keep Dortmund top of the league, ahead of Bayern Munich and Hamburger SV on goal difference.
Dortmund dominated both possession and chances throughout the first half, and were rewarded with a goal in the 15th minute through Aubameyang. Sahin whipped in a cross from the edge of the box which was turned in by the striker, who now has 6 goals in 4 competitive games this season.
Christian Pulisic was denied by Rune Jarstein as his breath-taking mazy run ended in a super save from the Berlin goalkeeper. Sokratis’ injury late in the first half somewhat dampened the hosts’ spirits and was a blot on an otherwise satisfying night for the Yellow and Black supporters.
Nuri Sahin scored the second goal after the break, which put the result beyond doubt. His sensational rocket into the top right corner recorded a speed of 108 km/h. And after the match, he stated that he was feeling well and it was only a matter of time before he scored. The man-of-the-match then went on to wish Dembele good luck, but also added a ‘what could’ve been’ comment to the wishes.
This was Dortmund’s second league match without their star winger, who has now completed a move to Barcelona. And while Dortmund didn’t have any problems in front of goal, they did miss his extra zeal and zest in the final third.
And while Berlin tried their best to get back into the game, the closest they came to scoring in the second half was when substitute Haraguchi’s tame effort was easily saved by Roman Burki.
Here are the major Talking Points from the match:
Nuri Sahin’s Magic
Nuri Sahin hasn’t had a great career at Dortmund, but that might be about to change. He had started only 30 games in the past three seasons owing to injury concerns, and had not scored a league goal in two and a half years. He ended that drought with a banger of a goal, and that too with his weak foot. Sahin has been a mainstay in midfield since the pre-season, and keeping his performances in mind, he’ll be an important first teamer this season if he stays injury-free. Fingers crossed on that last part, though!
Dembele needs to be replaced
It is different playing against Hertha Berlin and entirely different playing against tougher opponents in the league and the UCL as well. And while Dortmund didn’t have any problems seeing off their opponents tonight, they will surely have problems in front of goal while playing Real Madrid or Juventus or Bayern Munich. Philipp and Pulisic are good enough to deputise for Dembele, no doubt about that, but neither of the two is consistent enough to be solely reliable. Dortmund have a lot of funds from Dembele’s sale, and it won’t make sense if they don’t go out there and get a quality attacker before the window shuts down. They’ll need a star signing, at least until players like Reus and Schurrle return.
Intense Play by Dortmund reminiscent of Klopp’s style
Under Peter Bosz, Dortmund have obviously looked better than they were under Thomas Tuchel. They’ve got that swagger back, and a mix of youth and experience we now have is just what Klopp trusted. In the first half, it was as if we’d gone to Klopp’s era. Dortmund were playing so intensely and beautifully that supporters would’ve returned home happy even if they hadn’t won. And just like Bosz is doing what Klopp did, would he deliver the league title as well? There’s no reason why he cannot do that.