The final score was as lopsided as the performances, and in that way, Friday’s was what’s become a typical performance in league from Borussia Dortmund. But en route to their 6-1 win over visiting Stuttgart, BVB were handed one, minor setback. Stuttgart kicked the hornet’s nest.
Borussia Dortmund’s trademark intensity was evident early at the Westfalenstadion, but when Karim Haggui took advantage of Mats Hummels misjudging a corner to give Stuttgart an unexpected 13th minute opener, that persistence turned into vengeance. Although they had started well, Thomas Schneider’s team were in for a long night.
BVB responded within six minutes with defender Sokratis Papastathopolous’s his own corner kick magic. Marco Reus added a second three minuter later, dribbling through a confused and disorganized Stuttgart defense to make it 2-1. Dortmund would carry that lead through halftime.
After intermission, the slaughter commenced. Starting in the 54th minute, Robert Lewandowski took advantage of more astounding Stuttgart defending to score twice in the three-minute span, the Polish international eventually completing his hat trick in the 72nd. With nine minutes left, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ended the scoring, lobbing a bouncing ball over Sven Ulreich from a tight angle right of goal.
Here are some mixed-language highlights:[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8a8cuDfJ6Sg]
A quick view of the numbers would gives you a good idea of how the match played out. Stuttgart had one shot on goal and one corner kick – Haggui’s goal. They went on to be outshot 16-3, with Dortmund putting 10 on target. The hosts only had 52 percent of the game’s possession, but the foul total hints at the difference in intensity between the two sides. BVB was whistled 15 times. Stuttgart only committed four fouls.
The disparity in form was as wide as the numbers. Stuttgart looked like the team that got Bruno Labbadia fired earlier this year, a surprisingly inept performance from a club that’d gone over a month without a loss. Dortmund, meanwhile, displayed the same venom with which they opened the season. The teams were in completely different leagues, but whereas BVB’s was one of elite, relentless attacking, Stuttgart’s featured Eredivisie-level defending, a combination that produced a landslide result.
Dortmund’s attack shouldn’t be short-changed, though. In fact, with BVB moving to 31 goals in 11 games, we should be asking how good they might get. Marco Reus is playing as well as ever. Robert Lewandowski has improved on a rate that’s produced 46 league goals over the last two season. Midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s production has increased as he’s settled into the team. Perhaps this groups won’t make it as far as last year’s Champions League finalists, but they may end up more prolific.
That abundance of goals has temporarily vaulted Dortmund top of the table, two points ahead of a Bayern side that visits Hoffenheim tomorrow. The rout almost moves Lewandowski to the top of the league’s scoring charts with nine goals, two clear of a five-man logjam with seven.