Aubameyang hits three as Dortmund cruise past Augsburg
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored his second hat trick in four days as Borussia Dortmund thrashed FC Augsburg 5-1 to cut the gap at the top of the league to seven points.
Marco Reus bagged a double to continue his improving form, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored his 18th, 19th and 20th goals of the season in all competitions. Raul Bobadilla netted soon after the half time interval to cut Augsburg's arrears, but they didn't quite do enough to move off the bottom of the Bundesliga.
After beating Qabala of Azerbaijan in the Europa League on Thursday, Tuchel made four changes to the team. There was a switch in goal, while Julian Weigl and Henrikh Mkhitaryan were missing from the starting line up. Although left out in midweek due to security concerns, a thigh problem saw Mkhitaryan drop out.
Markus Weinzierl's side won their first-ever European match on Thursday, beating AZ Alkmaar 1-0 away from home. However, league matters have been more complex: the basement boys from Bavarians have had their worst start to a Bundesliga season with just five points from nine games. Weinzierl reinstated Dominik Kohr and Alexander Esswein to his starting XI.
Borussia Dortmund started at a rip-roaring speed; the visitors were fortunate to keep the score blank for as long as they did. Castro almost slipped Aubameyang through on goal in the first minute, but Philipp Max intervened. On eight minutes, Shinji Kagawa combined superbly with Aubameyang, but despite putting the ball into the back of the net, the Gabon striker was offside.
But three minutes later, Aubameyang would celebrate his 11th league goal of the season. Ilkay Gundogan's inspired surge into the box and his cut back put it on a plate for the striker tasked with guiding the ball in from two yards out.
Four minutes later, the second arrived as a result of the dexterous Japanese international Shinji Kagawa. The former Manchester United player swiveled away from his marker, crossed to the front-post where Reus poked the ball home.
Augsburg simply couldn't handle the one-touch play from Dortmund; it was a complete dismantling of the bottom-placed side. Gundogan tried his luck from range on 27 minutes â his shot, bound for the top corner, was pushed clear by the excellent Hitz. Three minutes later, the Swiss keeper denied Aubameyang one-vs-one.
But Hitz was beaten for the third time as the yellow-and-blacks saved the best of the bunch for last. In the 33rd minute, Matthias Ginter played a terrific ball into Kagawa, his clever backheel setting up Reus who completed a sumptuous passage of play with a tidy finish. The German striker, who netted versus Mainz last week, now has five league goals for the campaign.
On their last visit to Dortmund in February, Augsburg secured a memorable win thanks to Bobadilla's goal, which left the home side stranded bottom of the table. At the end of the 90 minutes, goalie Roman Weidenfeller and captain Mats Hummels were forced to address the hardcore supporters in the SÃ¼dtribune standing section.
Times have changed with a new coach at Signal Iduna Park, but the traveling Bavarians started the second half like they were performing last season. Weinzierl called two changes at the interval â Tobias Werner and Jan Moravek for Esswein and Piotr Trochowski â to bring extra defensive stability, in addition to the width offered by Werner.
Three minutes in and Augsburg leveled to vindicate Weinzierl's decisions. Werner bent a dangerous delivery into the box from around 30 yards out. Bobadilla rose earliest and headed over the outstretched Roman BÃ¼rki. Bobadilla should have scored on 64 minutes, but he was off-balance and blew his effort over the bar.
Dortmund turned up the heat once again in the last quarter of an hour with Aubameyang threatening on 79 minutes, although Hitz stood firm. But five minutes from time, Aubameyang found the net, sliding aggressively to convert Adrian Ramos' cross-cum-shot into the net. He would fire home a fifth of the afternoon in stoppage time to add gloss to the win - the striker recording his 13th league goal of the season and Dortmund's 54th goal in 18 games.
Augsburg, one of Germany's three teams in the Europa League, remains bottom with five points, alongside Hoffenheim and Stuttgart in the bottom-three.