You wouldn’t know it from looking at the scoreline, but Dortmund had to work very hard tonight to get a victory.
Thomas Tuchel’s side edged Hamburg 3-0, in a game that was nervy until very late. Dortmund held on at home, but came close to conceding an equalizer on numerous occasions, before finishing off HSV with two late goals.
There were nervous moments in the first half, but BVB fans weren’t really chewing their fingernails until the second frame.
Bobby Wood, Michael Gregoritsch, and Filip Kostic combined for a few sights at goal in the first frame, but Burki stood tall when called upon.
Dortmund were able to open the scoring in the 13th minute, when Gonzalo Castro stepped up to take a free kick. Shinji Kagawa had done well to earn the set piece, drawing a foul and a yellow on Albin Ekdal.
Castro’s shot wrong-footed Rene Adler, leaving him helpless as the ball was driven low and into the net. It was Castro’s first goal in a long time. The last time he’d scored was when he got two goals against Darmstadt in September.
Dortmund continued to have the better share of the game, but wasteful finishing meant that they wouldn’t find a second goal until very late.
To be fair, Hamburg’s finishing was also wasteful. They had quite a few chances to tie the game up, but couldn’t find their goal.
Burki and the Dortmund defense deserve credit for a very strong game. Marc Bartra in particular was very solid at the back. He’s really proving to be a great signing.
After some hectic moments BVB finished the game off in the 81st minute. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had missed quite a few chances in the match, but on this occasion he decided to pass. He torched Ekdal with his speed, and squared the ball across for Kagawa to tap-in.
It was the goal that Kagawa’s performance deserved.
A few minutes later, Shinji returned the favor. He chipped a ball over the top for Aubameyang, who ran onto it behind the HSV defense. He easily rounded Adler, and tucked the ball home. It was Auba’s league-leading 25th goal of the season, and it was the final kick of the game.
Tuchel will be happy with the clean sheet, but he’ll also understand that the scoreline is quite harsh on Hamburg. HSV have been hot lately, but they could’ve used a result to further push them away from the relegation zone.
The victory helps Dortmund keep pace with Hoffenheim, who beat Bayern today 1-0. It is nearly impossible for BVB to finish lower than 4th at this point, but the battle still goes on for 2nd and 3rd place, with an automatic spot in next year’s Champions League Group Stage on the line.
Dortmund are next in action on Saturday, when they take on Bayern at the Allianz Arena.