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Dortmund to win the Ruhr derby


On Saturday afternoon, Schalke and Dortmund clash at the Veltins Arena in one of the highlights of the Bundesliga campaign, the Ruhr derby.

After a stellar campaign last season in the Bundesliga, Schalke have endured a mixed start to their season this time around. In fact, the home side are 12th place in the German top-flight table.

The team from Gelsenkirchen drew 1-1 at Hoffenheim last time out, which was a creditable result for the home side.

Schalke have a decent recent record at the Veltins Arena, winning three of their last four Bundesliga games. However, they have also won lost three of their last six Bundesliga on home soil.

The home side’s recent home games in the German top-flight have been relatively low scoring, with under 2.5 goals scored in nine of their last 11 home outings.

Dortmund have been the standout team in the Bundesliga this season. BVB are top of the Bundesliga table, seven points clear of second place Borussia Monchengladbach.

Lucien Favre’s team have now won their last four league games in the Bundesliga. Last time out, the visitors recorded a 2-0 win at Freiburg.

One of the biggest factors in BVB’s successful campaign has been their attacking prowess, as they have scored at least two goals in eight of their last nine games in the German top-flight. Their prolific form in the Bundesliga has led to over 2.5 goals scored in seven of their last nine matches.

BVB have a good recent away record in the Bundesliga, as they are unbeaten in six games on their travels, having recorded victories in their last four outings. The visitors have scored at least two goals scored in three of their last four away games in the league.

Sportseconds predicts that Dortmund will record a victory in a high scoring game to maintain their top form in the Bundesliga.

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Aubameyang a doubt for DFB-Pokal Klassiker

Borussia Dortmund could be without top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang when they take on Bayern Munich in the DFB-Pokal on Wednesday.

Aubameyang scored his 21st goal of the season as Dortmund defeated Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga on Saturday, but sustained a muscular injury during a training session on Monday.

Head coach Peter Stoger is unsure whether the Gabon striker will be fit in time for the Klassiker at the Allianz Arena, though he is confident the defending champions have enough options to cope with his potential absence.

“The availability of Aubameyang for Wednesday is still not certain. We have to wait,” Stoger told a pre-match news conference.

“We have several options in the event of Aubameyang missing out.”

Aubameyang has scored six goals in as many appearances and has this week reportedly agreed to extend his stay at Signal Induna Park through to 2021.

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Stoger wants to bring best out of BVB after breakthrough victory

New manager Peter Stoger says his sole goal is to cajole the best out of Borussia Dortmund after beginning his tenure with a much-needed 2-0 win at Mainz.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Shinji Kagawa scored second-half goals as the Austrian made a fine start after replacing the sacked Peter Bosz.

The visitors survived a couple of early scares, including Suat Serdar’s shot against the crossbar, to register their first victory and clean sheet in the Bundesliga since September.

It was an encouraging show of resolve from a side which crumbled with alarming regularity in recent months and Stoger, himself dismissed by Cologne this month, hopes to provide the platform for improvement.

“My aim is simply to make the best use of the qualities of the players,” he told Sky Sport Germany.

“The timeframe before the game was tight. Overall, we are very pleased.

“At half-time we discussed a few things we wanted to correct. The second half was much better, we took control and maybe could have closed it out earlier.

“We showed in phases that we can play really good football.”

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Bayer Leverkusen 1 Borussia Dortmund 1: Yarmolenko strike rescues visitors

Andriy Yarmolenko rescued a point for Borussia Dortmund with the equaliser in a 1-1 draw against 10-man Bayer Leverkusen that might earn head coach Peter Bosz a stay of execution.

Dortmund went into the game with Bosz under intense pressure after a run of six games without a win, but his side fell behind after half an hour.

Kevin Volland’s opening goal came after a defensive howler from Neven Subotic, but Leverkusen then had Brazilian full-back Wendell sent off just before half-time.

Against 10 men, the visitors dominated the second half possession but failed to break down Heiko Herrlich’s well-drilled outfit until Andre Schurrle teed up Yarmolenko for his third league goal of the season.

Despite salvaging a point, the laboured nature of Dortmund’s performance with a man advantage against a side below them in the Bundesliga standings might lead the club’s board to make a decision over Bosz’s future before the trip to face Real Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Bosz was forced into an early substitution when Maximilian Philipp was stretchered off with a serious knee injury after seven minutes, and Schurrle replaced him in attack for the visitors.

Former Dortmund defender Sven Bender aimed a header towards goal five minutes later but Roman Burki, returning to the BVB side after recovering from a concussion, made a reflex save and parried the ball around the post.

Burki rescued Dortmund again moments later when he made a one-handed save to keep Julian Brandt’s bouncing volley from finding the net, before Yarmolenko gave Bayer goalkeeper Bernd Leno his first test with a low, angled drive that was comfortably saved.

The goal the game had threatened finally materialised on the half hour after Neven Subotic made a hash of what should have been a straightforward pass on the half-way line.

Kai Havertz took full advantage, sending a pass into the path of Volland who rounded Burki 30 yards from goal before rolling the ball into the empty net.

The home side’s momentum was spoiled by Wendell, whose crunching challenge on Gonzalo Castro earned him a straight red card after 43 minutes, referee Robert Hartmann using VAR before making his decision, and left the Dortmund midfielder unable to continue.

Yarmolenko had a claim for a penalty waved away early in the second half after going down under a challenge from second-half substitute Panagiotis Retsos, and Shurrle hit the side-netting in the 55th minute after a superb back-heel pass by fellow substitute Shinji Kagawa.

With just under 20 minutes left, Burki made a vital intervention when he saved from Volland at close range and one minute later the visitors broke down the left wing, where Schurrle sent over a low cross that Yarmolenko controlled before poking the ball past Leno and into the net.

Dortmund pressed for a winner but struggled to find a way through a packed Leverkusen defence, while Leon Bailey had a dipping free-kick saved by Burki at full stretch at the other end, and ultimately the full-time whistle brought with it frustration for both managers.

Key Opta stats:

– Dortmund have won none of their last seven Bundesliga games (three draws, four losses) – their longest winless run in three years, since September to November 2014, then under Jurgen Klopp).
– After keeping a clean sheet in their first five league games of the season, Dortmund conceded at least one goal in their last nine BL games – their longest run of this kind in almost two years, since October 2015 to January 2016, then under Thomas Tuchel.
– Dortmund scored at least one goal in their last 17 games in all competitions – their longest scoring run in two years (33 games between April and November 2015, then under Klopp and Tuchel, respectively).
– In Dortmund’s last seven Bundesliga matches there have been five red cards – three BVB players and two opposition players have been sent off. Dortmund have seen more red cards in their last seven league matches than in the 128 matches before (two).
– In his 16th game for Borussia in all competitions, Andriy Yarmolenko scored his fifth goal – all of them have come away from home.

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Borussia Dortmund 4 Schalke 4: Pressure mounts on Bosz after dramatic Ruhr derby

Naldo’s stoppage-time header salvaged a remarkable point for Schalke as they came from four goals down to draw 4-4 in a dramatic Ruhr derby against rivals Borussia Dortmund, piling the pressure on Peter Bosz.

Four goals in the space of 13 first-half minutes had seemingly put Dortmund in command at Signal Iduna Park, but Schalke rallied after the interval – taking advantage of dreadful Dortmund defending, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s red card, to complete an unbelievable comeback.

Having already had a goal ruled out by the VAR system, Naldo powered home a header in the 94th minute to condemn Dortmund to a sixth successive league game without a win, and perhaps signal the end of Bosz’s tenure.

It all looked good for Dortmund after 12 minutes, Aubameyang marked his return to the fold with a scrappy goal, joining Anthony Yeboah as the highest-scoring African in Bundesliga history in the process.

Schalke’s nightmare start was swiftly made worse – Mario Gotze nodding home his first competitive goal of 2017 moments after Benjamin Stambouli’s own goal had doubled Dortmund’s tally, with Raphael Guerreiro then adding further humiliation.

But it was not to be for Bosz’s men, as Guido Burgstaller and Amine Harit ate into their lead before Aubameyang picked up a second booking, Daniel Caligiuri’s strike setting up a grandstand finish before Naldo capped off an incredible derby.

Yevhen Konoplyanka’s early chance proved rare attacking moment for Schalke, as the hosts stamped their authority on proceedings.

Christian Pulisic’s first-time cross was flicked on by Nuri Sahin, with Aubameyang reacting first to bundle the ball home, and though the ball did strike the forward’s hand as it went over the line, the referee allowed the goal to stand.

Aubameyang could have made it two moments later, but Dortmund did have their second 18 minutes in when Stambouli flung a leg at Sahin’s free-kick, giving Ralf Fahrmann no chance.

It was 3-0 two minutes later, Aubameyang turning provider with a sublime, inch-perfect cross to the back post, where Gotze was on hand to head in.

Dortmund were not finished there – Guerreiro’s stunning volley into the right-hand corner capping off a whirlwind period of play.

Matters could have been made worse for Schalke prior to the interval, Thilo Kehrer fortunate to escape a second booking after diving in on Andriy Yarmolenko.

Naldo thought he had pulled one back for Schalke on 53 minutes, only for the VAR system to rule that the veteran defender had strayed just offside before turning in Oczipka’s free-kick.

Fahrmann gifted Aubameyang the chance to break Yeboah’s record, only for Schalke’s goalkeeper to recover and force the striker wide.

Roman Weidenfeller had to be at his best to deny Caligiuri, but he would be caught out just after the hour, as Burgstaller’s superb header gave Schalke some hope.

Bosz’s weak defence was to be penetrated again with 25 minutes remaining – Harit pouncing on Weidenfeller’s error to thump in from close range.

Aubameyang’s ridiculous decision to dive in on Caligiuri gave referee Deniz Aytekin no choice but to hand the 28-year-old his marching orders, Weidenfeller making an outstanding save to tip Burgstaller’s header onto the post from the resulting free-kick.

Substitute Gonzalo Castro was lucky to only receive a booking for a hefty challenge on Harit, with Caligiuri then hammering home on 86 minutes to set nerves jangling.

And Schalke made their numerical advantage pay in the fourth minute of seven added on – Naldo shaking off his marker to head in Konoplyanka’s cross and cast further doubt over Bosz’s future.

With tensions high, both sides clashed after the final whistle, with Dortmund left wondering how they had only claimed a point.

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Pressure on Dortmund in Ruhr Derby

This season was set to be one full of joy for Borussia Dortmund and their fans.

The loss of Ousmane Dembele to Barcelona was always going to be tough to take but with several additions plus the fact Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang remained at the club gave great cause for optimism.

However, things have not panned out in the way the club had hoped this season and with twelve games played, Borussia Dortmund find themselves down in 5th place in the Bundesliga. This leaves them 9 points behind the leaders Bayern Munich and one place outside the Champions League qualifying positions.

Trends show Borussia Dortmund have won only one of their last nine matches in all competitions and that victory came away to Magdeburg in the German Cup.

Since defeating Augsburg 2-1 away from home in the Bundesliga on the 30th September, Borussia Dortmund have failed to register a win in their domestic league.

Peter Bosz’s team have lost each of their last three Bundesliga games, suffering defeats at Hannover 96 and Stuttgart plus a home loss to great rivals Bayern Munich.

The Dutch manager is under huge pressure and the fact both teams have scored in all six of Borussia Dortmund’s home league games, shows where improvements need to be made.

Schalke travel to Signal Iduna Park in a very confident mood having defeated Hamburg 2-0 at home last weekend. That victory was their fifth in their last six games in all competitions and leaves them sitting second in the Bundesliga at the start of the weekend.

Trends show Schalke are unbeaten in each of their last seven competitive games and have won their last 3 away matches in all competitions.

Not only have Schalke scored goals in each of their last six Bundesliga games they have also been doing well defensively, keeping four clean sheets in their last five league games. Their defence is sure to be put to the test in this match and they will hope to perform better than when they hosted Bayern Munich earlier in the season.

Team news and Borussia Dortmund are without the injured quartet of Erik Durm, Marco Reus, Sebastian Rode and Lukasz Piszczek. There are also doubts over defender Sokratis and goalkeeper Roman Burki, with Roman Weidenfeller standing by to play in place of the latter.

Schalke will be without Pablo Insua and Nabil Bentaleb who are both on the treatment table. Benjamin Stambouli is struggling for fitness and Schalke fans will be hoping midfielder Leon Goretzka is back to start in midfield.

Borussia Dortmund’s recent home form has been poor and they have also had troubles off the pitch with the recent suspension of star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Schalke on the other hand have been in great form and will see this match as the perfect opportunity to get one over on their rivals. The Schalke/draw double chance could be the way to go in this game, as the visitors will fancy their chances of at least taking a point.

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Dortmund set to return to winning ways at Stuttgart

On Friday night, Dortmund will look to get back to winning ways in the Bundesliga, as they visit Stuttgart.

The visitors seemed set to enjoy a strong season after a lightning quick start to their German top-flight campaign.

However, BVB’s campaign has gone off the rails slightly in recent weeks, as the visitors have not won in their last four league games, suffering three defeats in the process.

As ever with Dortmund, their recent games have been goal-filled with over 2.5 goals scored in their last eight games in the German top-flight.

Peter Bosz’s team have remained prolific in front of goal in the Bundesliga, despite their poor recent run of form, scoring at least two goals in their last eight league outings. However, BVB have also conceded two or more goals in their last four Bundesliga outings.

Dortmund’s renowned home record has suffered a dip in recent months, as they have now lost their last two home games in the German top-flight, with title rivals Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig both winning at the Signal Iduna Park.

Stuttgart have endured a mixed start to their Bundesliga campaign and are currently 12th in the German top-flight table.

Hannes Wolf’s side have been very poor away from home in recent months. However, their recent home form in the German top-flight has been strong, as they have recorded wins in four of their last five league outings on home soil.

Good defensive displays have played a big part in the home side’s good home record, as they have kept clean sheets in four of their last five home games in the Bundesliga.

BVB have won on their last five visits to Stuttgart in all competitions, though, so the visitors will be confident of recording another win in this clash.

Forebet predicts that Dortmund’s poor recent run in the Bundesliga will end and the visitors will record a comfortable win in Stuttgart.

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Eintracht Frankfurt 2 Borussia Dortmund 2: Bosz´s men stunned by comeback

Borussia Dortmund threw away a two-goal lead as a difficult week for the Bundesliga leaders culminated in a dramatic 2-2 draw with Eintracht Frankfurt.

Peter Bosz’s injury-hit side suffered a first defeat of their campaign against RB Leipzig in their most recent league outing, before drawing 1-1 with Champions League minnows APOEL last time out.

But goals from Nuri Sahin and Maximilian Philipp on Saturday looked set to assuage Dortmund’s woes, only for Frankfurt to rally and forge a remarkable comeback, leaving the visitors just one point clear of Leipzig and three ahead of Bayern Munich, who play later in the day.

Bosz’s insistence on playing a high-line backfired when goalkeeper Roman Burki – who signed a new contract at Dortmund on Friday despite making a costly error against APOEL – conceded a penalty just after the hour, Sebastien Haller converting from 12 yards.

And the comeback was complete in the 68th minute, Marius Wolf on hand to lash home his first Bundesliga goal moments after Lukas Hradecky had denied Christian Pulisic at the other end.

Both sides could have snatched all three points in the closing stages, with Burki and then Makoto Hasebe pulling off heroic blocks, as an enthralling encounter ended all square.

Frankfurt had the ball in the net 17 minutes in, only for the offside flag to cancel out Ante Rebic’s effort, but it was the visitors who had the lead a minute later.

Marc Bartra, deployed at right-back due to Dortmund’s defensive injury crisis, thumped in a low cross-cum-shot, with Sahin reacting sharply to prod home from 10 yards out.

Neven Subotic was caught out by Wolf as Frankfurt responded well, but Burki was out swiftly to block the forward’s chip, while Haller sliced wide.

Frankfurt were exposing Dortmund’s ramshackle defence, but the hosts then suffered a blow – Timothy Chandler making way after picking up a serious-looking knee injury.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had the chance to double Dortmund’s lead with half-time approaching, the Gabon striker driving wide after controlling Pulisic’s knockdown.

The Dortmund talisman was at it again after the restart, skewing over from close range before drawing a fine save out of Hradecky, but Frankfurt’s goalkeeper was beaten soon after.

Philipp drove forward at pace, squaring up his marker before planting a firm finish into the bottom-left corner.

Aubameyang did find the target on the hour after Philipp turned provider, but his celebrations at matching were cut short by the linesman’s flag.

Frankfurt finally made Dortmund pay for their sloppiness after 64 minutes – the referee pointing straight to the spot after Burki had barged clumsily into Rebic and Haller stepped up to slam home from the spot.

Dortmund were shaken up and after Hradecky had pulled off a top-class save from Pulisic’s strike, Frankfurt took full advantage as Wolf stole in to drive a low effort past Burki.

Bosz’s side had Burki to thank with 10 minutes remaining as he atoned for his earlier error with a fine stop from Haller before, in stoppage time, Hasebe got across to clear Sahin’s volley off the line as Dortmund’s lead at the top was cut to one point.

Key Opta facts:

– For the first time since February 2017 Borussia Dortmund have not gone three consecutive matches without a win in all competitions.

– BVB have scored 25 goals in the Bundesliga 2017-18, which equals their club record after 9 games (1994-95).

– The last time a Bundesliga game involving Borussia Dortmund ended with a draw after they took a two-goal lead was in November 2014 in Paderborn (2-2).

– This was Mario Gotze’s 100th appearance for Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga.

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Augsburg 1 Borussia Dortmund 2: Brilliant Kagawa seals points for Bosz´s boys

Borussia Dortmund put midweek defeat against Real Madrid behind them to open up a five-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga with a 2-1 win at Augsburg.

Andriy Yarmolenko opened his league account for Peter Bosz’s men as the away side made a swashbuckling start.

In the week Bayern Munich parted company with Carlo Ancelotti, Dortmund seemed eager to further strengthen their hand domestically, with nearest challengers Hoffenheim and Bayern not in action until Sunday.

Caiuby checked this ambition with a well-worked equaliser but Shinji Kagawa netted a 23rd-minute chip and Augsburg were fortunate to escape to half-time without further damage.

Dortmund’s level dropped considerably in the face of a spirited showing from the hosts during the second half while a farcical penalty miss compounded a wretched outing for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and set up an unnecessarily nervous finale.

But former Ajax boss Bosz was able to look back on a job well done and six wins out of seven in an unbeaten start to life in the Bundesliga.

Augsburg striker Alfred Finnbogason headed too close to Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Burki from Marcel Heller’s chipped cross early on, while Marwin Hitz brilliantly kept out a Kagawa drive low down to his right.

An all-action start yielded a fifth-minute opener from the Dortmund corner following that attack – Yarmolenko impishly backheeling home after the ball dropped to him in the six-yard box.

Bosz’s side appeared in rampant form but they were pegged back six minutes later as Caiuby applied a headed finish to Philipp Max’s superb cross from the left.

Hitz parried away a rasping Aubameyang strike, although he could only look on in grudging admiration when Kagawa restored Dortmund’s advantage.

A defensive mix-up between Max and Martin Hinteregger allowed Aubameyang to take possession inside the Augsburg box on the right and work the ball to Kagawa via Yarmolenko. On the edge of the area, the Japan star took aim and launched an audacious chip into the far corner.

Aubameyang should have made it three when he sprung the Augsburg offside trap but an array of stepovers did not distract Hitz, who also reacted well to keep Mahmoud Dahoud’s deflected 44th-minute effort out of the bottom right corner.

The hosts started the second half on the front foot, with Daniel Baier’s dipping long-ranger providing a nervous moment for Burki, who again failed to convince in dealing with set pieces.

Dortmund’s earlier fluency had all but deserted them by the time Yarmolenko made way for Maximilian Philipp in the 64th minute, however Aubameyang passed up another chance to seal the points when he powered a header from Christian Pulisic’s inviting centre straight at Hitz.

The Gabon star’s afternoon got worse 11 minutes from time when a referral to the Video Assistant Referee system penalised Augsburg substitute Ja-Cheol Koo for pulling Lukasz Piszczek’s shirt.

Shrugging off his previously lacklustre finishes, Aubameyang launched a “Panenka” penalty, only for Hitz to stand his ground and catch the ball with ease.

Thankfully for the normally prolific striker and his team-mates, the earlier and far more accomplished chip from Kagawa remained the game’s decisive moment after another wicked Max cross narrowly evaded both Finnbogason and the far post in stoppage time.

Key Opta stats:

– Dortmund have scored 32 goals vs Augsburg – no other team in Bundesliga can match this tally versus Augsburg.
– Aubameyang made his 200th appearance in a competitive game for Dortmund (133 goals).

– Aubameyang has missed four of his 12 penalties in the Bundesliga.

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Borussia Dortmund 6 Borussia Monchengladbach 1: Aubameyang hat-trick inspires Dortmund rout

Borussia Dortmund returned to the Bundesliga summit after producing a scintillating attacking display to crush Borussia Monchengladbach 6-1 at Signal Iduna Park.

Peter Bosz’s side had briefly lost top spot following Hoffenheim’s 2-0 win over Schalke earlier on Saturday, but an imperious performance secured all three points against a shell-shocked Gladbach.

Two superb goals from Maximilian Philipp got them on their way before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who hit the woodwork three times, delivered a striking masterclass to score a hat-trick.

Despite Dortmund’s dominance, Gladbach carved out a number of openings themselves and scored a consolation through Lars Stindl just after the hour – the first goal Dortmund have conceded in the league this season.

Julien Weigl then scored the game’s best goal with a dipping volley from distance with a little over 10 minutes remaining.

The win sets Dortmund up perfectly for their mouth-watering Champions League clash against Real Madrid on Tuesday. Gladbach, meanwhile, will need to pick themselves up for the visit of Hannover next weekend.

Dortmund dominated possession in the early stages, but an incisive counter attack by Gladbach after 10 minutes created the game’s first clear chance.

Thorgan Hazard took advantage of an error by Weigl to drive towards the Dortmund area, but his powerful strike was too close to Roman Burki, who comfortably parried away.

Dortmund had to wait until the 19th minute before carving out their first opportunity. Sokratis Papastathopoulos created enough room on the edge of the area to scuff a half-volley towards goal, but Tobias Sippel was equal to it.

Christian Pulisic saw his deflected shot tipped over the bar by Sippel as the hosts cranked up the pressure.

Sippel then produced a stunning save to deny Aubameyang from point-blank range after the Gabon striker had latched onto Mario Gotze’s clever header.

From the resulting corner, Aubameyang ghosted in at the back post, only to be denied by the woodwork.

In an action-packed few minutes for the striker, he turned provider for the opener as his precise cross was wonderfully converted on the volley by Philipp.

Philipp then scored his second in the 38th minute after taking advantage of some generous defending from the visitors.

An interception on the edge of the area allowed Jeremy Toljan the space down Gladbach’s left to pull back for Philipp to expertly dispatch the ball into the top corner.

Aubameyang was denied again by the post, via a remarkable save from Sippel, but he finally got on the scoresheet a minute before the break.

Sokratis strode out of defence before playing a defence-splitting pass into Gotze’s path, and the Germany international calmly rolled the ball across goal for Aubameyang to slot into an empty net.

Any thoughts that Dortmund would let up their relentless approach in the second half were dispelled four minutes after the break as Aubameyang scored his second.

His header from Gotze’s free-kick cannoned back off the post but fell fortuitously for him to tap into an unguarded net again.

Aubameyang’s hat-trick came in the 62nd minute, as he ran onto Mahmoud Dahoud’s throughball to round Sippel and squeeze in from an acute angle.

Gladbach barely had time to breathe in the second period, but they found a consolation goal soon after when Stindl slotted home after good work from Hazard down Dortmund’s right.

But Weigl had the final say with a stunning late volley as Dortmund gleefully reclaimed top spot.

Key Opta Stats:

– With 16 points and a goal difference of +18, Dortmund have managed to make a club-record Bundesliga start after six matches.
– Dortmund have scored five or more goals in two consecutive home games – the last time they managed that was in September 2013 (6-2 vs Hamburg and 5-0 vs Freiburg).
– In his 62nd Bundesliga match, Julian Weigl scored his first goal.

– Maximilian Philipp’s first goal was Dortmund’s 1800th strike on home soil.