Thomas Tuchel’s Borussia Dortmund have turned heads around the footballing world with their magnificent start to the season and Friday night’s 3-1 win over Freiburg did no harm to their preparation for Tuesday nights Champions League showdown with Real Madrid.
Strikes from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Lukasz Piszczek, plus a stoppage time goal from Raphael Guerreiro allowed Dortmund to secure a fourth win in five league games and equal a club record of 24 home games without defeat.
Following the 2015/2016 season where BVB finished as runners-up to Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich in both the Bundesliga and the DFB-Pokal Cup, fans began to panic as their squad was robbed of real quality by big spenders.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Mats Hummels and Ilkay Gündogan were amongst the big-hitters that departed Signal Iduna Park and Tuchel’s team looked to be in tatters after two seasons of building following predecessor Jurgen Klopp’s reign in Westfalenstadion.
However, eight signings of high quality were made by the Krumback-born coach and with the likes of André Schürrle, Mario Götze and Marc Bartra making their way to Dortmund alongside budding prospects such as Ousmane Dembélé, Raphaël Guerreiro and Emre Mor, the West German club have made a lightning quick start both domestically and in Europe.
Dortmund had scored a whopping 17 goals in their 3 games leading up to Friday night’s encounter and took no time at all to get going as youthful widemen Dembele and Mor flew out of the traps to cause all kinds of problems for the visitors.
The latter of the two wingers was looking to drift inside from the right and picked the ball up in central pockets between the lines on multiple occasions as Dembele tore Aleksandar Ignjovski to shreds down the left.
The constant pressing and hounding from BVB resulted in Freiburg playing longer passes to relieve pressure and although the hosts had the majority of play, they will always be vulnerable to counter attacks. Max Philipp missed a glorious opportunity for Freiburg early on in the first half.
BVB finally got their breakthrough as Aubameyang marked his 100th Bundesliga game with his 59th goal, a tap in after Ousmane Dembele’s cutback shortly before half-time.
“After a weak opening 15 minutes, we played an outstanding first half where we should have led by more goals,” said Tuchel.
It looked all over just eight minutes into the second half when Lukasz Piszczek drilled home from inside the area to double Dortmund’s lead.
Yet just seven minutes later, Philipp made up for his earlier miss by finishing smartly after a perfectly weighted through ball from substitute Janik Haberer.
Dembele continued to star in what was a phenomenal performance from the 19-year-old winger that signed from Rennes in the summer. The Frenchman won the UNFP Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year before making the switch to the Bundesliga and created chance after chance for teammates to wrap the game up, but it took until injury time for the game to be put to bed.
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) September 23, 2016
Raphaël Guerreiro added the icing to the cake in what was the goal of the game and a contender for goal of the season after fine, intricate play consisting of three one-touch-passes led to two first-time flicks around the corner by both Aubameyang and the American-born Christian Pulisic before the 22-year-old Guerreiro fired home from an angle to send the famous “Yellow Wall” into delirious celebrations behind the goal.
— Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) September 24, 2016
The win put Dortmund level on points with Bayern Munich at the top of Bundesliga and also fires them into their next fixture against European champions Real Madrid with real momentum. The tie possesses all the ingredients to be a classic.