Borussia Dortmund capitalised on rivals Bayern Munich dropping points on Friday with a dominant 5-1 win over Augsburg at the Signal Iduna Park, to give them a small early advantage in the Bundesliga title race.
Augsburg shockingly opened the scoring in just the first minute through Florian Niederlechner, however BVB equalised two minutes later via Paco Alcacer. Dortmund controlled large parts of the first half, but ultimately lacked a cutting edge against a resolute Martin Schmidt side.
In the second half, that changed as Dortmund moved up a gear with goals from Jadon Sancho and Marco Reus, while Alcacer put the game beyond doubt. There was even time for a late debut goal from substitute Julian Brandt.
Check out our breakdown of the game below.
Key Talking Point
Dortmund lay down a marker to show that they are serious contenders for the Bundesliga title this year and prove that the last campaign was not a fluke. A scintillating performance in the second half saw Dortmund score four goals as they displayed incisive passing and clinical finishing - something their rivals Bayern were unable to manage against Hertha Berlin.
Despite conceding in the first minute, BVB were strong in defence with good performances from Mats Hummels and Manuel Akanji giving the home faithful some hope that their defence is good enough to help them propel to the title.
A complete performance gives manager Lucien Favre a good indication of the talent his squad possesses ,and already puts Bayern and counterpart Niko Kovac under pressure.
Starting XI: Hitz (6); Piszczek (7), Hummels (7), Akanji (7), Schulz (7); Weigl (8), Witsel (8); Sancho (9), Reus (8), Hazard (8); Alcacer (9).
Substitutes: Brandt (7), Hakimi (7), Götze (6)
STAR MAN - There were so many to choose from but despite a brilliant performance from Sancho, the star man was Paco Alcacer. He showed great poaching ability to stab home a much-needed equaliser in the third minute.
The Spaniard also proved that he is more than just a goalscorer with some fancy hold-up play and passing. His second goal that put the match to bed with a great side-foot finish into the top corner and help Dortmund gain a small advantage in the title race.
Paco Alcacer, Jadon Sancho and Marco Reus running the show in Dortmund. 🔥— Nicolas Pepe’s doppelganger (@Mark_kvngs) August 17, 2019
Key Talking Point
A disastrous debut for goalkeeper Tomas Koubek summed up Augsburg's afternoon. Having made a mistake for Alcacer's first goal, he showed great agility and handling as he made crucial saves to deny the likes of Julian Weigl and Reus - in a similar vein to how well Augsburg defended in the first half.
However, it all crumbled in the second half as the former Rennes keeper made three more errors that all led to goals and effectively lost Augsburg the game. With former Augsburg keeper Marvin Hitz lining up for Dortmund today, it is evident that Koubek has a lot of work to do to get to Hitz's quality.
With the side just surviving the relegation play-off last season, boss Martin Schmidt will be hoping this was a blip for his keeper.
Starting XI: Koubek (5); Teigl (6), Suchy (6), Khedira (6), Pedersen (7); Gruezo (5), Baier (6); Vargas (6), Hahn (6); Niederlechner (8), Gregoritsch (6).
Substitutes: Richter (6), Oxford (6), Jensen (6)
STAR MAN - A poor performance from Augsburg means that nobody really deserves a star man but a great goal from debutant Niederlechner means that he walks away with it as a consolation prize - much like his goal.
It was well worked and he was in the right position and the right time to tap in and give Augsburg fans some hope of stealing a result. The German was the only attacking threat in a lacklustre side and helped create their best chances of the game.
What a start for Augsburg in Dortmund!— thiago_mendes_fan (@Ub3reem) August 17, 2019
1-0 up in the first minute thanks to a nice team goal, finished by debutant Florian Niederlechner!
Dortmund needed that win to put some pressure on Bayern, and they got it.
Favre will no doubt be happy that maximum points have been taken, and he will hope that his team can repeat this performance away from home at Köln. Their away form was extremely poor last season by their standards but will go into the match with great confidence.
Augsburg next welcome newly-promoted outfit Union Berlin, and will look to bounce back in a match where they can hope to take some points.