I have to admit I was a bit scared before this game.
Dortmund had a sub-par October with no wins in the Bundesliga and a scary performance in the Cup. The injured players are slowly coming back but they can't be at 100% yet. And then there's Hamburg.
They are awful sure, but they have been for years and the black and yellows still had a terrible record against them with 5 losses in the last 8 encounters. In addition to that they already had a story written out for them. You see it was Uwe Seeler's 80th birthday. The biggest HSV legend there is was celebrated frenetically by the fans and it would be just to perfect for them to put the cherry on top of the festivities by gifting him a win against their favorite opponent.
Alas, none of that ever materialized.
23 minutes and 53 seconds. That's how long it took for an entirely different story to unfold.
During the week Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was suspended for a trip to Italy (supposedly). Tuchel sat him out in the Champions League and the football world obviously starting speculating what it could mean. Yours truly included.
Well, Auba responded and what a response it was. 23 minutes and 53 seconds is the time that passed between his first and third goal of the day. The first came in the 4th minute after Guerreiro found a wide open Pulisic on the left flank. The young American pushed into the box and passed it to Emre Mor. The Turkish international couldn't convert but the deflection from René Adler landed right in front of PEA who had no trouble converting for his first goal of the day.
The second came in minute 23 after an egregious mistake from HSV-captain Johan Djourou. Dortmund pressed high and a pass from Djourou that was intended for Adler ended up being way to short. Mor picked it off and ran towards the HSV-goal with Auba accompanying him, one sideways pass later and the score was 2:0.
His third strike came in the 28th minute when Bartra headed (!) a ball back into Hamburg territory that then became an assist because Aubameyang was allowed to run unmarked towards the goal.
That basically sealed the deal.
The Aubameyang-Show part 2...and a bit of shakiness
Auba continued right where he left of. Hamburg's defense was unable to clear the ball after a Guerreiro-cross, Pulisic won the ball just outside the box and passed it to Aubameyang who converted with a superb shot from the corner of the box.
Whoever thought this game was over after that was dead wrong.
The Rothosen finally awoke when Nicolai Müller actually scored a goal for them after 717(!) minutes without scoring. A header in midfield allowed Müller to run at Bürki and had no problem converting their first real opportunity of the game.
Just two minutes later the ball was once again in the net of the Dortmund-goal and it seemed like it was officially time to worry. However the play was whistled dead by the referee because of a supposed push in the back from Gregoritsch to Ginter. It is difficult to say if it was a correct call, not even the slow-motion could really clear the situation up.
BVB was able to extend the lead back to four goals when Dembélé scored after Piszczek and Aubameyang combined in midfield. It was Auba's first assist of the day, he played a part in all five of Dortmunds goals today.
However it shouldn't be the last goal, Müller who was the best HSV-player today scored his second with a beautiful strike from outside the box to give us the final result of 2:5.
Is Dortmund back on track?
Kind of, but there is still a lot of room for improvement.
The defense is still incredibly shaky and it might get worse if Sokratis picked up a serious injury. The Greek defender had to be subbed off in the second half.
This game could've easily tilted if the ref hadn't nullified Gregoritsch's goal. I still don't trust this team to win the games they should win or even keep big leads against basically resigning opponents. One goal and the team seems to go into panic-mode which is not a good sign with Bayern looming after the international break.