Mon, 26 Oct, 2015, 09:30
Sunday's late match pits Schalke against Mönchengladbach. Earlier, Dortmund walked all over Augsburg. Shinji Kagawa shone, Marco Reus rocked, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored at will.
Borussia Dortmund and Augsburg both came into the match off Europa League wins on Thursday. But whereas visitors Augsburg looked as though they were wearing lead weights around their ankles, Thomas Tuchel's charges seemed elated to get back to Western Europe and strut their stuff for their home fans.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang already poked a shot toward Augsburg's goal in the opening seconds of a half that would see Dortmund hog three-quarters of the ball. Ironically, BVB's first goal came as Augsburg seemed to have weathered the initial storm and settled into the match.
In minute 18, one-touch passes by Matthias Ginter, Gonzalo Castro and Ilkay Gündogan had Augsburg's defenders chasing their tails. Güngogan fed Aubameyang for a simple tap-in. Dortmund were off and running.
Only three minutes later, Shinji Kagawa dribbled his way past Jan-Ingwer Callsen Bracker and slid the ball over to Marco Reus, who fired it into the roof of the net. Kagawa and Reus were back at it in minute 33, with the Japanese midfielder back-heeling the ball for his teammate to score Dortmund's third.
The goals revived memories of BVB's championship-winning seasons, but listless and disoriented Augsburg also certainly had a hand in making Tuchel's men look so good. Even when Augsburg grabbed a lucky lifeline shortly after the break, with an off-side Raul Bobadilla heading in a Tobias Werner free kick, Augsburg never seriously threatened to rain on Dortmund's parade.
Instead they were lucky not to be down a man after Tobias Werner expressed Augsburg's frustration with a studs-up challenge that left its mark Sokratis' thigh. Dortmund shifted down a gear or two, but still polished their opponents off. Aubameyang latched on to a shot by substitute Adrian Ramos five minutes from time. And he completed his hat-trick - and the slaughter - when Kagawa picked him out utterly unmarked in front of goal in injury time. The striker from Gabon also drew level with Bayern's Robert Lewandowski with 13 goals at the top of the scorers list.
The 5-1 win will put smiles on faces in Dortmund not only because it saw BVB solidify their hold on second place. Man of the match Shinji Kagawa also showed a return to the sort of form he displayed before his ill-advised departure to Manchester United in 2012. After all, the Japanese playmaker was particularly influential the last time Dortmund won the Bundesliga title.
Augsburg, on the other hand, remain rock bottom, and it's hard to discount the idea that the small Bavarian side, which punched above its weight to finish fifth last season, simply cannot handle playing in European as well as domestic competitions. Against Dortmund, in any case, the Acorn Boys looked very much like relegation candidates.