Borussia Dortmund 5-0 FC Köln: VAR Controversy Looms as Dortmund Reach Bundesliga Summit
Borussia Dortmund claimed the top spot in the Bundesliga table after their 5-0 victory over FC Köln. With Peter Bosz and Peter Stöger returning to domestic football after suffering 3-1 defeats in London in mid-week, it was the Dutch manager who came out on top at the Westfallenstadion.
It took less than two minutes for Dortmund to take the lead, two new signings combining to put the Billy Goats behind. Andriy Yarmolenko showed some impressive footwork to gain half a yard on the edge of the penalty area and, on his weaker foot, the Ukrainian international's cross was met perfectly by Max Philipp who guided a header beyond Timo Horn.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang tested Köln's goalkeeper again just after the 15-minute mark, Horn matching the forward with a comfortable save. Yarmolenko and Philipp were continuing to cause Köln problems with their movement, the £22.5m Ukranian having 20-year-old Jannes Horn in his pocket throughout the opening 25 minutes.
Dortmund, with the last kick of the first-half, had a goal had a goal ruled out for a foul on Timo Horn. However, the referee's decision was controversially overruled by VAR and Sokratis, who was initially adjudged to have fouled the Köln keeper, was credited with doubling Dortmund's advantage.
Aubameyang had a chance to add icing onto the Borussia Dortmund cake just 45 seconds after the restart, curling an effort narrowly wide of Timo Horn's goal. After efforts from Mahmoud Dahoud and Max Philipp failed to test the Köln goalkeeper, Aubameyang forced the 24-year-old German into an impressive save as Dortmund pressed to increase their advantage.
The Gabonese striker finally beat Horn just before the hour mark, with VAR once again taking centre stage. Despite muted appeals, Lukas Klünter was eventually penalised for handball and Aubameyang sent Köln's goalkeeper the wrong way from 12 yards out.
Within a matter of seconds, Aubameyang got his name on the scoresheet again with a cool finish in the heavy Dortmund rain. Łukasz Piszczek fizzed the ball low across the face of goal and as we saw so often last season, Aubameyang calmly placed the ball beyond the goalkeeper from close range.
With 20 minutes remaining, Max Philipp doubled his tally with a delicate chip over Timo Horn. After some incredible footwork from Mahmoud Dahoud on the edge of the area, Philipp raced onto a through ball and beautifully chipped the keeper with his weaker foot.
Dortmund comfortably saw out the remainder of the game, dominating possession and barely giving Köln a sighter on Roman Bürki's goal. Alexander Isak replaced Aubameyang late on, with Peter Bosz keen to rest his star striker whilst also offering Isak an early birthday present, the Swedish striker set to celebrate his 18th birthday on Thursday.