Deadline Day signing Michy Batshuayi scored twice on his Borussia Dortmund debut as the away side beat Cologne 3-2 at the RheinEnergieStadion.
The threat that Cologne were able to cause against Dortmund signifies much about their on-going defensive issues, but Batshuayi was on hand to earn his new side a much needed-win after arriving on loan from Chelsea, following former star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s late move to Arsenal.
Batshuayi’s brace were cancelled out by Simon Zoller and Jorge Mere respectively, but another ex-Chelsea man, Andre Schurrle, bagged the game’s winner.
Dortmund went on the offensive early, led by the impressive Schurrle who had the first sight of goal after he cut in off the left-hand side and sent a right-footed drive inches wide.
But Cologne sniffed out an uneasiness in the away side’s defence whenever they looked to break, and midfielder Milos Jojic missed a glaring chance to open goalscoring proceedings in the 13th minute when Sehrou Guirassy’s cutback fell to Jojic on the penalty spot, but his shot was poor and went straight at Roman Burki.
Dortmund didn’t bow down lightly and attacked straight down the other end, with Mahmoud Dahoud who went down in the penalty area and although some Dortmund players called for a penalty, Shinji Kagawa sent a rising shot only onto the top of the crossbar.
With 20 minutes gone Batshuayi was still for his first sniff on goal but saw his first real chance from Schurrle’s right-hand sided cross blocked by the Cologne defender.
The Belgian international wouldn’t have to wait long for his debut goal as it would arrive just 14 minutes later when Jeremy Toljan got down the byline and pulled the ball back for a smashed near-post finish.
Batshuayi thought he’d doubled his goals for the day just before half-time, after cleverly flicking home Toljan’s drilled effort, but the newly-introduced VAR intervened to correct call him offside to leave the scores only at 1-0 at half-time.
The second-half started and Cologne equalised on the hour mark as USA international Christian Pulisic lost possession and defender Dominique Heintz powered forward to shoot an ambitious effort. Burki’s attempted save was poor however only managing to parry the ball out to Simon Zoller who headed home from only 6 yards out.
Batshuayi and Dortmund replied almost immediately with Pulisic returning the favour on Heintz, dispossessing him and prodding the ball through for the striker to poke it between Timo Horn’s legs.
Despite regaining the lead, Dortmund still looked wobbly at the back, with Zoller having a free shot at goal from a throw-in before Burki flapped at a corner which the defence cleared.
Dortmund did not take the hint however as Cologne levelled only moments later as nobody tracked Jorge Mere from a corner and he easily flicked the ball home to bring the home side level for the second time in the game.
But the game had one final twist as it would finally swing Dortmund’s way as Schurrle got the goal his performance deserved.
Man-of-the-match Batshuayi turned provider this time, playing the ball into the wide man’s path and he ran down on goal before smashing home a thunderous shot which took a small deflection to lift the ball over the goalkeeper and into the far corner.
There was one final chance of a late leveller for the hosts but Sokratis Papastathopoulos made a superb block to keep out Marco Hoger’s powerful goal-bound shot.
The win moves Dortmund up to second in the Bundesliga, six points behind leader Bayern Munich who have a game in hand. They look to their next game against Hamburg at home next Saturday.
Cologne meanwhile, remain bottom of the table with 4 points still keeping them from safety but they know have played a game extra than their relegation rivals. They face Eintracht Frankfurt away next.