Video ref helps Dortmund thrash Cologne in Bundesliga

Hoffenheim's scorer Sandro Wagner, front right, and his teammate Havard Nordtveit, front left, celebrate the opening goal during the German Bundesliga soccer match between 1899 Hoffenheim and Hertha BSC Berlin in Sinsheim, Germany, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. (Uwe Anspach/dpa via AP)

BERLIN (AP) Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Maximilian Philipp and the video referee all struck twice as Borussia Dortmund routed Cologne in the Bundesliga on Sunday.

Nothing went right for the visitors in the 5-0 defeat, with Cologne now conceding 12 league goals in four defeats.

Philipp got Dortmund off to a dream start with a glancing header to Andrey Yarmolenko’s fine cross.

It was Philipp’s first goal for Dortmund since his summer transfer from Freiburg. Both he and Ukrainian forward Yarmolenko, another new arrival, were Dortmund’s best players in the first half.

But the home side had to wait until first-half injury time for the next goal, scored by Greek defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos despite Cologne’s protests.

Referee Patrick Ittrich initially ruled the goal out for Sokratis’ apparent shove – causing the defender and goalkeeper to collide and the ball to fall for Sokratis to poke over the line – but the goal was then given after consultation with his video assistant.

Cologne’s anger was exacerbated as Ittrich’s whistle for the alleged foul seemed to come before the ball crossed the line.

Video assistance intervened for a second time when Lukas Kluenter blocked Philipp’s header with his arm. Play continued but Ittrich called it back and booked the Cologne defender after receiving instructions on his earpiece. Aubameyang duly converted the penalty, the only encouragement he needed for his second goal a minute later.

With the injured Marco Reus watching from the stands, his replacement Philipp claimed his second in the 69th with a brilliant chip over the goalkeeper after Mahmoud Dahoud sent him through.

The 17-year-old Alexander Isak, who came on late for Dortmund, was agonizingly close to scoring on his league debut.

LEVERKUSEN’S RELEASE

Bayer Leverkusen took out its early season frustration on Freiburg, dealing the visitors a 4-0 defeat.

Leverkusen, which started the league with two losses and a draw, raced into a 3-0 lead in the first half as the side eased the pressure on new coach Heiko Herrlich, who played as a youth for Freiburg.

Kevin Volland opened the scoring after 20 minutes with a brilliant strike inside the left post from just under 20 meters (yards), before Charles Aranguiz – who had set him up – powered in a half-cleared corner to make it 2-0.

Lars Bender crossed for Volland to slide in and claim his second goal 10 minutes before the interval.

The Leverkusen forward thought he’d reached his hat trick with 20 minutes remaining – after another fine strike – but the goal was ruled out after video consultation for a foul in the build-up.

Julian Brandt wrapped up the scoring with four minutes remaining when Aranguiz took a quick free kick.

In Sunday’s early game, Alexander Esswein earned Hertha Berlin a 1-1 draw at Hoffenheim in a duel between Europa League contenders.