Dortmund might finally be back! In the most impressive game of the season to date, Dortmund pulled away from Nurnberg early and completed a 7-0 victory at Signal Iduna Park.
Going into the match, the inclusions of Jacob Bruun Larsen and Achraf Hakimi in the starting lineup were the changes to watch and they did not disappoint. Favre went with a 4-2-3-1 formation which we should see more of moving forward.
The first half got off to a slow start, even with Hakimi drawing a yellow card from Yuya Kubo within the first 30 seconds, but Dortmund quickly and methodically began to apply the pressure to the over matched Nurnberg side. They found the back of the net for the first time of many in the ninth minute. An incredible run and pass from Christian Pulisic led to an equally impressive finish from Bruun Larsen over the head of the keeper. It was the first goal in the Bundesliga for Larsen and we really shouldn’t be seeing Wolf again any time soon.
The team passing and defensive pressure continued for the rest of the half. Larsen forced a turnover leading to a Reus shot on goal directly at the keeper. Hakimi was consistently joining the attack, and even Schmelzer had some impressive runs.
The front attacking four were in sync all night and really played well as a single entity. Quick passes from Pulisic to Philipp to Reus led to a deflected goal and a 2-0 lead heading into the halftime.
The second half was actually an improvement from the first. Nurnberg applied some pressure on an early corner, but Reus immediately took the ball down field on the counter and found a sprinting Hakimi who beat the keeper with a shot to the bottom left corner. Hakimi’s performance was as close to a perfect debut as possible. He played tough on defense, out-muscling opponents and looked confident from the first whistle.
The flood gates truly began to open with a Delaney long ball leading to a Reus and Larsen combination and Reus’s second goal of the night in the 58th minute.
Unfortunately, Dortmund was not able to put another in the back of the net for an entire 16 minutes. In the 74th minute, after Kagawa, Weigl, and Sancho had all come on to join the fun, Manuel Akanji scored his own debut Bundesliga goal with an aggressive solo play. He stole the ball in the box, made a move to get a clear shot and easily put it away.
In the 85th minute, Sancho received a long ball from Delaney and made it 6-0, while three minutes later “even Weigl,” as the announcer bluntly put it, made it 7-0, scoring the second Bundesliga goal of his career.
Really not enough can be said about this performance by Dortmund, but the final score truly speaks for itself at the end of the day. This is the kind of play I think everyone was hoping to see under Lucien Favre.
- It will be interesting to see the defensive lineup this weekend. Hakimi certainly should receive more playing time, and we will see if Favre rewards him immediately for his strong performance.
- The defense was well organized and confident all game, Burki had a very easy night in goal.
- Witsel and Delaney were solid in midfield, they did their job, helped build the attack and kept it simple, Delaney in particular had some beautiful long balls up field.
- Reus scored his 100th Dortmund goal, while Bruun Larsen, Hakimi, and Akanji each scored their 1st in the Bundesliga
- Dortmund have pulled into 2nd place and within two points of Bayern after their draw with Augsburg. They lead the league in goals for and are tied for fewest goals against.
- Only seven teams in the Bundesliga have scored more goals this season than Dortmund did today
- Dortmund play an improving Leverkusen team this weekend, we’ll certainly see if they can build off of this dominant performance
It is tough to choose, but who impressed you the most? What did I miss in this incredibly eventful midweek blowout?