Borussia Dortmund continued their good start to the season with a 3-0 drubbing of perennial relegation candidates Hamburger SV at the Volksparkstadion. The “Englische Wosche” saw Dortmund stay on top of the league and helped manager Peter Bosz create a new record by becoming the first manager to keep a clean sheet in his first 5 Bundesliga matches.
Speaking about the game, Dortmund weren’t as dominant as they were in the first 4 matches of the season but got the job done in a very convincing manner, something which they were unable to do last season. Dortmund look like a different side even though they are severely short-handed in numbers due to injuries to a lot of important players.
Bosz made two changes to the line-up from the thumping win over Koln over the weekend with Pulisic and Kagawa coming in for Philipp and Dahoud respectively. The match began evenly with both teams being a little conservative at the start. BVB had the first big chance to break the deadlock but Pulisic could only shoot at the side netting from 12 yards out.
Dortmund again forced Hamburg into giving the ball cheaply at the back and they countered but Andriy Yarmolenko was unable to find Aubameyang in the box and nor was he able to pick out the late arriving Christian Pulisic, saving the home side’s blushes. Dortmund kept going at Hamburg and the pressure nearly paid off but Aubameyang’s header from Yarmolenko’s cross could only hit outside of the post having comfortably beaten Christian Mathenia in the Hamburg goal.
Piszczek was the next BVB player to test Mathenia but his tame shot was easily saved by Mathenia. Dortmund finally made all the control count as Yarmolenko sent in a teasing free-kick towards the back post for Toprak to head it down into the six-yard box for Shinji Kagawa to poke the ball into the roof of the net. It was the first goal of the season for the Japanese international and he’ll look to impress Bosz to get more game time.
Hamburg were clearly rattled by the goal and came out with a bunch of chances of their own with the best one falling to Andre Hahn, who forced Burki to pull off a good save after a delightful cross from Lewis Holtby. BVB weren’t in any mood to let their lead slip and followed up with a bevvy of opportunities to double their lead. Mathenia, clearly the busier of the two keepers was forced into 2 wonderful saves to stop the deficit from increasing before Yarmolenko wasted a golden opportunity by sending his shot well over the bar despite having Castro completely unmarked.
Dortmund were clearly the better side in the first half and had many chances to increase their lead but their lack of composure sent the travelling fans wondering what could have been into halftime.
The second half began with Hamburg having more of the ball and except for one chance from Pulisic early in the half, Hamburg had the better chances as both Mavraj and Walace both failed to equalize for the home side with the fans getting louder by the minute. Dortmund began asserting themselves after a spell of possession and eventually, they got what they were craving for. Pulisic made a darting run forward and found Yarmolenko on the right wing, before the Ukrainian international fed the ball across the face of the goal for Aubameyang to tap in from about half a yard out, sending the away fans into raptures.
Dortmund proceeded to bring on Dahoud and Philipp for Kagawa and Yarmolenko, the latter being the liveliest player on the pitch and constantly troubling the Hamburg defence with his skilful runs and teasing crosses from the right. Dortmund eased into the game after the second goal and Hamburg were clutching at straws in terms of chance creation.
Aubameyang was awarded a huge chance to completely kill Hamburg off after he was played clean through on goal with only Mathenia to beat, only for him to roll the ball past the right-hand post. But just 3 minutes later, Pulisic made no mistake from 10 yards as he slid the ball past the helpless Mathenia after Dahoud showed some neat footwork before threading a precise pass for Pulisic to finish.
With the game all set, Bosz decided to send on young Dane Jacob Bruun Larsen for his Bundesliga debut to replace Dan-Axel Zagadou. Dortmund had another chance as Sahin’s deflected shot just looped over the Hamburg goal. Dortmund kept trying for a fourth but never managed to achieve it.
Overall, a good win for Dortmund to continue their red-hot form in the league but there were chances for Hamburg to score but they very clearly lacked the cutting edge. Toprak and Yarmolenko impressed a lot of onlookers as both new signings look like they’ve taken to BVB as a Fish does to water and Christian Pulisic was arguably the man of the match. Dortmund had a fair share of long balls too which did not please manager Peter Bosz much either. The early signs of Bosz’s rein look very good but with a long stretch of games until the next International Break, only time will tell how well the squad copes with a series of injuries and if at all a loss of form in the league.