Peter Bosz’s new look Dortmund side continued their tenure at the top of the table by demolishing Borussia Monchengladbach 6-1 in the “Battle of the Borussia’s” on Saturday at the Signal Iduna Park. The thumping win saw Julian Weigl make his first start of the season as well as score his first ever Bundesliga goal but also saw BVB concede their first goal this season after 5 consecutive clean sheets.
The match also saw Mahmoud Dahoud and Matthias Ginter make their first appearances against their former clubs and the latter showed why he was offloaded by BVB in the summer whereas Dahoud showed his quality and why he is considered a huge prospect. BVB also had Jeremy Toljan make his first appearance in the Bundesliga for the Ruhr club as he was chosen to play on the left side of the defence.
BVB also had Jeremy Toljan make his first appearance in the Bundesliga for the Ruhr club as he was chosen to play on the left side of the defence. BVB made a bevy of changes from their game against Hamburg as the whole midfield was shuffled as Dahoud, Weigl and Mario Gotze came into the side along with Maxi Philipp coming in for Andriy Yarmolenko and the aforementioned Toljan coming in for Dan-Axel Zagadou.
The game began slowly as BVB kept hold of the possession in an attempt to establish themselves in the game and Gladbach were content in letting Dortmund have most of the ball. The first chance broke for Gladbach as a mistake from Weigl saw Gladbach launch a swift counter-attack but Thorgan Hazard’s powerful strike was straight at Burki and he pulled off a solid save.
BVB looked to penetrate but Gladbach’s defence stood strong which forced Dortmund into taking half chances. The first chance fell to Sokratis but his half-volley was well saved by Tobias Sippel. Philipp then had a speculative long-range effort before Vestergaard’s mistake saw Pulisic pounce and have his deflected shot tipped over by Sippel. Sippel deputizing for the injured Yann Sommer, then pulled a couple of brilliant saves to prevent Aubameyang on both occasions from opening the scoring.
Dortmund were asserting their dominance and constantly tested Sippel and their unrelenting pressure finally paid off when Aubameyang made a good run to latch onto a long ball before crossing it in for Philipp to hook the ball beyond the reach of Sippel. BVB deserved the goal and Gladbach’s casual defence cost them drastically. BVB continued their stride forward and Philipp put in a good ball for Aubameyang but Ginter prevented the Gabonese from scoring.
BVB’s dominance was very clear and in no time they doubled their lead. Dahoud intercepted the ball near the Gladbach box before releasing Toljan on the left side and the full-back laid the ball onto a completely unmarked Philipp who wrapped his left foot around the ball guide the ball into the top corner with a sublime finish. Gladbach were crumbling, and they were crumbling fast.
Gladbach followed up with a good chance with Stindl and Raffael combining but the former saw his tame shot easily saved by Burki. A rare Gladbach chance and BVB almost followed with another goal as Aubameyang’s header was tipped onto the post by Sippel to keep the score at 2-0. Gladbach had another chance to get one back but Hazard’s first shot was well saved by Burki before he blasted the follow-up over the bar.
Half-time was fast approaching and Dortmund piled on the misery on the traveling fans after Sokratis released Philipp, who had a glorious chance at completing his hattrick but instead chose to unselfishly square the ball to Aubameyang to score into an empty net. Dortmund had turned on the heat and Gladbach were incinerated rather quickly. Dortmund had complete control and Gladbach were unable to handle the unrelenting pressure put by the Dortmund attackers in the first half.
Dortmund were raring to go in the second half and they got into their rhythm rather quickly and Gladbach were mere spectators. Dortmund got a free kick after a foul by Johnson on Philipp and Gotze took the subsequent free kick. His cross at the back post was met by Aubameyang’s head and the ball hit the post and the rebound fell kindly to him and he slotted it home for his second goal of the game. Dortmund were running Gladbach into a complete frenzy.
Gladbach followed with a couple of chances of their own as Zakaria’s long-range shot whizzed by the post and Hazard had his effort at Burki saved rather easily. Pulisic and Philipp were running the Gladbach full-backs ragged and there was nothing they could do to contain them.
It was a long time coming, but Aubameyang finally got his hattrick after a mistake from Vestergaard saw Dahoud thread in a through ball for Aubameyang to run onto before he rounded Sippel and almost lost his footing under pressure from the recovering Vestergaard before smashing the ball high into the net. Gladbach looked completely lost and the home fans could not have been happier.
Gladbach finally had some respite as Dortmund had a momentary lapse and the threatening Hazard cut the defence open before his deflected cross ended up on Stindl’s feet for him to score into the bottom corner and break Dortmund’s clean sheet record. The goal left the Dortmund faithful with a sour taste as the league leaders had gone on an incredible run of clean sheets.
Dortmund started relaxing a bit and the high-paced tempo began to slow down rather quickly. Both sides made a few changes, which clearly affected the speed of the game. Dortmund kept having a go and were rewarded as Julian Weigl scored an absolute screamer as his half-volley from a poor headed clearance ended up in the top corner beyond a despairing Tobias Sippel in the Gladbach goal. The joy on Weigl’s face was clear to see as he scored on his first start for the club after months of recovering from a broken ankle.
Dortmund settled into the game, looking to preserve their energy for the match against Real Madrid midweek in the UEFA Champions League and the only chance fell to Gladbach as former Dortmund man Jonas Hofmann should have scored another consolation but failed to make any kind of contact from Cuisance’s cross.
In the end, it was utter dominance from Die Schwarzgelben as they extended their unbeaten home run and continued to top the table after another impressive performance. Philipp’s red-hot form continued and Dahoud’s dominance in midfield was there for everybody to see along with Toprak’s yet another solid performance at the back, with the new signings settling in very well at the club. The star of the show was clearly Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, whose hattrick stole the headlines and he showed why he’s considered one of the best strikers in the world, at the expense of a hapless Die Fohlen side. Dortmund will look to carry their fine form into the Champions League as they face the defending champions of the cup, Real Madrid on Tuesday at Signal Iduna Park.