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Dortmund Win Big Against Wolfsburg Despite Shaky Defense

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The scoreline does not tell the tale.

Oliver Hardt/Getty Images

On Tuesday night, Borussia Dortmund traveled to Germany's motor city to take on Wolfsburg, beating the Wolves by a 5-1 scoreline. Raphael Guerreiro opened the scoring, followed by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Ousmane Dembele, Aubameyang, then capped off by Lukasz Piszcek.

It may have been Dortmund's third straight lopsided scoreline, after beating Legia Warsaw 6-0 a week ago, then Darmstadt 6-0 at the weekend but this game was a much different than the previous two.

Despite opening the scoring in just the third minute of the match, the first 60 minutes of the match were very open, with Wolfsburg arguably the better side. The 2-0 halftime scoreline in BVB's favor could have easily been reversed if it weren't for some fantastic saves from goalkeeper Roman Bürki.

Dortmund suffered a big loss in the 12th minute, as Marc Bartra went down with a groin injury and had to be substituted. Matthias Ginter replaced the Spaniard, and Dortmund never looked confident in defense from there on. On the other side of the ball, though, Dortmund were taking their chances well. Ousmane Dembele embarrassed defenders on multiple occasions, while Aubameayang sent Philip Wollscheid back to Stoke, juking past the defender then curling in the finish.

Things looked to be heading in the wrong direction for Dortmund after halftime. Former Bayern striker Mario Gomez had a fantastic chance to pull one back, but Roman Bürki's triple save on the goal line kept Dortmund up 2-0. Shortly after, Wolfsburg halftime substitutions Paul Sequin and Daniel Didavi made an immediate impact, combining for a goal in the 53rd minute. One couldn't help but feel a Wolfsburg equalizer was impending.

Thankfully, Dortmund responded emphatically with Gonzalo Castro grabbing two assists in the span of four minutes. The 29 year old was subbed on at halftime for Christian Pulisic, who did not look particularly impressive in the first half. His performance can be excused, though, as it was the 18 year old's third start in the last seven days.

Dortmund's third goal was the result of some beautiful interplay between Götze, Guerreiro, and Castro. Castro could have scored himself, but instead opted to pass to the wide open Dembele, who easily slotted home the finish. The fourth goal was scored in similar fashion, which was tapped in by Aubameyang. Dortmund topped off their scoring exploits in the 73rd minute off a Lukasz Piszczek header, but the sixth game never came.

This was without a doubt Dortmund's worst defensive performance of the season. Julian Weigl, usually a calming presence in the midfield and defense, was way off his game today. The entire Dortmund back line has goalkeeper Roman Bürki to thank, as the Swiss keeper pulled off at least five impressive saves against Wolfsburg attackers. It's not often that a goalkeeper is man of the match in a 5-1 drubbing, but today an exception is made.

Dortmund were slightly off their game today defensively, but were able to more than make up for it in attack. Up next, Dortmund host Freiburg on Friday night, who beat Hamburg today 1-0.