BVB 4-3 Augsburg: Haller returns as Dortmund kick off 2023 edging seven-goal thriller

BVB 4-3 Augsburg: Haller returns as Dortmund kick off 2023 edging seven-goal thriller

(Featured Image: Borussia Dortmund)

Borussia Dortmund returned to competitive action following the World Cup break today, coming out on top in a seven-goal thriller against Augsburg.

A back and forth game saw goals from Arne Maier, Ermedin Demirovic and David Colina for the visitors cancel out strikes from Jude Bellingham, Nico Schlotterbeck and Jamie Bynoe-Gittens for BVB.

Giovanni Reyna came off the bench to score a spectacular late winner for Dortmund, but Sébastien Haller’s introduction from the substitutes’ bench was the real highlight for the 81,365 in attendance at Signal Iduna Park.

The Ivorian international had missed six months of action after signing for the club from Ajax, due to surgery he was undergoing for testicular cancer.

BVB’s mid-season friendlies

  • Lion City Sailors 2-7 Borussia Dortmund
  • Johor Darul Ta’zim 1-4 Borussia Dortmund
  • Rapid București 1-2 Borussia Dortmund
  • Borussia Dortmund 0-2 Fiorentina
  • Borussia Dortmund 5-1 Fortuna Düsseldorf 
  • Borussia Dortmund 6-0 Basel

Edin Terzic’s side began the winter break with a trip to East Asia, to take on sides from Singapore and Malaysia.

Both matches resulted in convincing wins for the Black and Yellows, who were without their international stars in Qatar.

Only the likes of Mats Hummels, Emre Can, Donyell Malen, Salih Özcan and Alexander Meyer were initially available.

Some younger players who have been starring for the club’s reserve side in the German third tier managed to impress on their opportunities, with the likes of Justin Njinmah, Samuel Bamba and Julian Rijkhoff getting on the scoresheet.

Upon BVB’s return to Europe, they were boosted by the returns of Giovanni Reyna, who scored the winner in their friendly in Romania, while Belgian duo Thorgan Hazard and Thomas Meunier also returned, along with the club’s German contingent.

Youssoufa Moukoko, Julian Brandt, Niklas Süle, Nico Schlotterbeck and Karim Adeyemi all returned to action after a disappointing World Cup campaign with Germany.

The latter pair both scored as ‘die Schwarzgelbe’ trounced second division Düsseldorf in Marbella, where several other stars returned from Qatar.

That 5-1 win over their fellow North Rhine-Westphalians saw Sébastien Haller come off the bench to make his long-awaited return.

The striker then came on for the final half an hour against Basel and would score a seven-minute hat-trick.

Over a week later, the former Frankfurt man was back in competitive action for Dortmund – a beautiful sight for all football fans.

Starting Lineups

Borussia Dortmund

1. Gregor Kobel

26. Julian Ryerson

15. Mats Hummels (C)

4. Nico Schlotterbeck

13. Raphael Guerreiro

22. Jude Bellingham

6. Salih Özcan

27. Karim Adeyemi

19. Julian Brandt

21. Donyell Malen

18. Youssoufa Moukoko

FC Augsburg

1. Rafal Gikiewicz

2. Robert Gumny

6. Jeffrey Gouweleeuw (C)

19. Felix Uduokhai

3. Mads Pedersen

27. Arne Engels

10. Arne Maier

13. Elvis Rexhbecaj

16. Ruben Vargas

7. Dion Beljo

9. Ermedin Demirovic

With Emre Can and Marco Reus ruled out through injury or illness, this was an interesting side picked by Terzic.

Just five days after signing for the club from Union Berlin, Julian Ryerson was selected for his debut, starting at right-back ahead of Marius Wolf.

Niklas Süle dropped to the bench, while Salih Özcan and Karim Adeyemi came in as the other changes to the side which started the Black and Yellow’s last Bundesliga match.

That came in a 4-2 defeat away at Borussia Mönchengladbach and was the club’s second successive defeat.

Returning to play in front of the Yellow Wall, the team were desperate to return to winning ways, by whatever means necessary.

Key Moments

From the first whistle it was clear that Dortmund would see more of the ball and create more chances.

However, Augsburg did show early signs that they weren’t simply there to defend; they also threatened on the counter-attack.

A few minutes in, an Arne Maier free-kick was attacked by Ermedin Demirovic, but his header fell onto the crossbar and into the grateful arms of Gregor Kobel in the BVB goal.

That was something of a wake-up call for the hosts, who soon responded and had some clear cut chances of their own.

Augsburg goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz made a double save to deny Donyell Malen and Raphael Guerreiro, before Julian Brandt played a nice one-two with Karim Adeyemi and sent Yousouffa Moukoko through on goal.

But the teenager dragged his shot wide of the post.

On the 29 minute mark, that early dominance was made to count, when some nice linkup play between Malen and Adeyemi allowed the latter to lay the ball off to Jude Bellingham just outside the area.

The Englishman worked the space before firing his side into the lead at the near post.

Minutes later Dortmund captain Mats Hummels headed a Guerreiro free-kick over the bar.

They would be made to regret that miss five minutes from half-time, when Nico Schlotterbeck was dragged out of position by Dion Beljo, who found Arne Maier in the box.

The visitors’ own captain evaded the challenge of Salih Özcan before driving the ball into the far corner with the outside of his boot, drawing Augsburg level.

However, just minutes later Edin Terzic’s men restored their lead when Brandt’s free-kick from deep was headed home by Schlotterbeck beyond the unmoving Gikiewicz.

Stoppage time was announced as four minutes and that was enough for the side from Bavaria to level proceedings once more.

A simple counter attack saw Arne Engels send Demirovic in behind and the Bosnian did the rest, holding off Hummels before lifting the ball into the goal.

Second half

In a stark contrast to the manner in which the first 45 ended, the start of the second period was very quiet.

However, Signal Iduna Park rose to its feet when the number nine was displayed on the fourth official’s electronic board, signalling the much-anticipated introduction of Sébastien Haller.

He entered the field along with Jamie Bynoe-Gittens and Giovanni Reyna.

With 15 minutes to play, the former thought he had won it for ‘die Schwarzgelbe’; he received the ball from Schlotterbeck before driving forward, dancing away from the Augsburg defenders before expertly curling it into the far corner.

But former BVB II coach Enrico Maassen’s side had other ideas.

77 minutes were on the clock when another attack had Dortmund stretched; Kelvin Yeboah struck the post before David Colina was on hand to score the rebound, making it 3-3 late on.

Another high-scoring affair was experiencing another flurry of goals, and another would soon follow.

It took just a minute for the hosts to respond, when a long ball from Schlotterbeck was flicked on by Bellingham.

Reyna controlled the ball and let it bounce before smashing it into the far top corner – a fantastic way to settle the game.

The Black and Yellow’s saw out a nervy ending to the game but most importantly, held on for the vital three points.

What it means

It’s been an underwhelming first half of the season for Borussia Dortmund, who are undergoing uncertain times.

With Edin Terzic having returned to become manager in the summer and the arrival of several new players, this was always going to be a year of transition for the club.

Those two defeats before the World Cup left the club outside the top four, having won just eight of their opening 15 matches.

But that break may just have come at the right time for Dortmund.

A lot of players have rested over the winter break and most, having had disappointing tournaments, will be hungry to put things right at club level.

Today the team showed great hunger to continue to respond despite the frustration of Augsburg’s equalisers.

Winning late on will always boost a team’s confidence, and with something of a favourable run of fixtures coming up, things may now be starting to look up.

Upcoming fixtures

25/1: Mainz (A)

29/1: Bayer Leverkusen (A)

4/2: Freiburg (H)

8/2: Bochum (A) – DFB Pokal

11/2: Werder Bremen (A)

15/2: Chelsea (H) – UEFA Champions League