It was a classic Jekyll and Hyde performance from Borussia Dortmund, starting out playing like crap before absolutely blitzing their opponent, as they came from behind to win 5-3 at Augsburg to start the Rückrunde. Newest Dortmund signing Erling Håland came on a second half sub and scored a hat-trick while Julian Brandt and Jadon Sancho also scored goals in the win.
Despite no Alcácer or Zagadou in the bench for various reasons (an injury for Zagadou, a potential transfer for Alcácer), Favre continued to roll with the 3-4-3 with Reus up top over Håland and Piszczek as that right-sided defender in the back three. Dortmund had a number of chances in the early stages of the game that they just couldn’t capitalize on. It felt a lot like most Dortmund games during the Hinründe, where they would dominate the opposition but couldn’t put any goals on the board.
In the 34th minute, Augsburg found the back of the net first with Florian Niederlechner scoring from a low cross. Hazard gave the ball away cheaply in the Dortmund half and Ruben Vargas stormed down the right side. He blew past Piszczek and sent in a low cross for the charging Niederlechner. Hummels had a chance to perhaps deflect the cross, but he didn’t get his foot to the ball in time and Niederlechner finished with a sliding tap-in. Reus had an opportunity late in the half off a beautiful ball from Brandt, but his first touch let him down.
The second half couldn’t have started any poorer for Dortmund as Marco Richter scored an absolute wonder goal. Akanji poorly headed away a bouncing ball right to Richter, and he scored a screamer from 30 yards out into the top corner. I don’t think Bürki thought it was going in because he didn’t move from his spot. Regardless, the score was 2-0 in favor of Augsburg.
Dortmund put one back thanks to Brandt in the 49th minute, arguably the best signing of the summer transfer window. Inside Augsburg’s box, Hazard found Brandt in the middle surrounded by three defenders. Brandt expertly turned inside to give himself some space and he punished the hosts with a rocket of a shot off the near post and in for the goal. But Augsburg would answer right back with another counter-attacking goal from Niederlechner. Phillip Max received the ball on the left wing and sent in a cross across the mouth of the goal for an unmarked Niederlechner to give Augsburg the 3-1 lead in the 55th minute.
Maybe finally realizing the error of his ways, Favre finally brought on Håland for Piszczek, and they were rewarded nearly instantly. In the 59th minute, the Norweigian wunderkind made a perfectly-timed run to collect an excellent pass from Sancho and with one touch finished off the far post past the Augsburg keeper. And just two minutes later, it was Sancho to level the score at 3-3 off a long ball delivered by Hummels. Sancho calmly maneuvered around the diving keeper and tapped in the equalizer. With one substitution, the momentum had completely changed and it was now Dortmund who couldn’t be stopped.
BVB finally took the lead in the 70th minute with Håland scoring his second. Witsel launched a long ball with Hazard and Haaland chasing after it with miles of space. Hazard collected the long ball and maneuvered to his left around the diving goalkeeper. With a one-on-one with an Augsburg defender, Hazard made an incredibly unselfish move and fed a wide-open Håland for the tap-in. The goal was incorrectly ruled offside, but VAR came to the rescue and proved that Hazard and Håland were onside before Witsel made his pass. 4-3 Dortmund, and
With Dortmund now leading, Favre made a cool move and gave Giovanni Reyna his official Dortmund debut, making him the youngest American to ever appear in the Bundesliga. He even got himself a hockey assist on Dortmund’s fifth goal! Reyna cut out a cross and fed Reus with a nice pass, who in turn slipped Håland a terrific throughball and the teen delivered a perfectly-placed shot with his left foot just past the goalkeeper for the goal. Three shots, three goals, and just like that Håland has become a fan favorite with the club.
While it was absolutely awesome for the team to come back from a deficit and get the win, Dortmund need to be better for an entire ninety. Against teams like Leipzig or Bayern, they would’ve been played off the field and wouldn’t have had any opportunities for a comeback.
Enjoy the win and the Håland hat-trick; we’re on to Köln at home.