Borussia Dortmund got their season off to a great start with a confident 4-0 home win over Borussia Monchengladbach. From watching their displays you wouldn’t believe that Dortmund are the side in the Europa League and Monchengladbach the Champions League.
The 4-0 scoreline flattered Monchengladbach who could have easily been losing by double that amount at halftime. Beyond a brief series of corners early in the first half they never threatened Dortmund.
Marco Reus put Dortmund in front after just 15 minutes. Shinji Kagawa played a brilliant one touch pass into the path of Reus who took a touch to control the ball before firing it into the back of the net.
Five minutes later Dortmund doubled their lead thanks to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s glancing header into the far corner of the net from a Marcel Schmelzer cross from out on the left.
Just past the half hour mark and Dortmund stretched their lead to three after a great counter-attacking move. Aubameyang raced towards the Monchengladbach goal, past their defence, and instead of taking a shot himself played it across the goal for Henrikh Mkhitaryan who was able to get a foot to it and stab it in.
The rout was completed five minutes into the second half when Mkhitaryan got his second of the game. The ball was played to Reus, who might have been a fraction offside, ran down the wing before pulling a pass back for Mkhitaryan who calmly put it into the back of the net.
Once that fourth goal went in the match was all but over and basically went through the motions until the referee blew for full time. In an attempt to be kind to Monchengladbach the ref didn’t add on an injury time at the end of either half. There was no need.
Dortmund were very impressive in this match. They looked sharp. Fit. Hungry. They look like a side that wants to put last season behind them and get back into the Champions League for next season.
Kagawa showed the creativity, vision, and passing that led him to be voted Bundesliga player of the season and caused Manchester United to sign him. He was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet himself putting the narrowly wide, but his passing caused Monchengladbach problems all afternoon. It was pinpoint accurate all day.
Reus too showed why he keeps getting linked to the big clubs every transfer window. His movement, dribbling, passing, and shooting constantly caused problems and he could have easily had more than the one goal and one assist he came away with. He was so troublesome that the Monchengladbach players resorted to fouling him which forced him to go off in the end. Hopefully he doesn’t have a serious injury.
Andreas Christensen, on loan from Chelsea, had a debut to get for Monchengladbach. He struggled in their defence and was caught out on a couple of occasions.
Dortmund have been playing Europa League football which might explain why they looked much much sharper than their opponents. It’ll be interesting to see how Monchengladbach recover from this and how Dortmund can build on this win going forward.