Chris Williams –
Borussia Dortmund vs Augsburg was possibly the game of the season so far – it was definitely the best fixture Dortmund have been involved with since last week. Augsburg for their part, they will feel their play warranted more than the defeat can offer.
Borussia Dortmund 4:3 Augsburg
SIGNAL IDUNA PARK, Dortmund, Germany
6 October, 2018 – 14:30 BST, 15:30 CET
Goals: 0-1 Finnbogason (22′), 1-1 Alcácer (62′), 1-2 Philipp Max (71′), 2-2 Alcácer (80′), 3-2 Götze (84′), 3-3 Gregoritsch (87′), 4-3 Alcácer (90’+6)
Borussia Dortmund vs Augsburg : ‘Favreball’ – Dortmund’s patience is their biggest asset
Dortmund will not be rushed into shooting under Lucien Favre. Their ability to patiently work the ball left to right – until the optimum moment arises to strike at goal is something to behold. Unfortunately, their defending isn’t quite up to the same level – yet.
Speaking post-match, the Dortmund head coach said “We make the difference offensively, we have a lot to do defensively”, and he’s right. Augsburg’s counter attack caused the Schwarzgelben all manner of problems – however, it was Dortmund’s own faults that allowed them to leak three goals – on another day it could have been a lot worse.
But, if one thing has risen to the fore under this new look Borussia Dortmund it is that they will not lie down, even when they seem to be beaten. Last week’s comeback against Leverkusen was special, today they showed the same strength – but this time they had the character to win the game when it looked like they had thrown it away all on their own.
Borussia Dortmund vs Augsburg : Augsburg desperately unlucky
After surprising everybody during Englische Woche – by talking a point in the Allianz Arena against Bayern – the other side from Bavaria almost caused another upset in the Bundesliga, this time at the Westfalenstadion.
Their work rate and togetherness to deny Dortmund a route through to goal almost worked, until the introduction of Paco Alcácer. Prior to this, their high press and quick counter attacks were causing their hosts all sorts of problems.
Not many sides will play the way Augsburg did this afternoon and leave with nothing to show for their endeavours.
Manuel Baum is overseeing a step-change in the way the Fuggerstädter play football. Gone is the tepid – almost boring – approach to the game as seen over the past few seasons, and in has come an attacking mindset coupled with an ability to hold their defensive line. Although, don’t judge their defensive abilities on the last 10 minutes of this fixture!
Borussia Dortmund vs Augsburg: Super Sancho
The 18-year-old winger has burst onto the scene this season. His ability has always been at the fore of his game,but he has started this particular campaign like a man way beyond his teenage years. A wonderful few months has been rewarded by a call up to the senior England squad during the impending international break.
With six assists and one goal from just seven Bundesliga games, you can see just why he has caught the attention of Gareth Southgate. His performance against Augsburg was just as exceptional as the one seen at Leverkusen on Matchday Six.
Such is his ability – and now his reputation – that teams are scared stiff anytime he gets the ball. Witnessed this afternoon once again. Sancho was such a threat down the Augsburg flank when counter attacking, captain Daniel Baier picked up a yellow card for a blatant block after just 4 minutes.
His understanding with Marco Reus should have led to the Dortmund captain opening the scoring early on, a wayward shot a disappointing end to a wonderful move. However, it is with new signing Paco Alcácer that Sancho and Dortmund look their most dangerous.
Borussia Dortmund vs Augsburg : A tale of two forwards
Poor Alfreð Finnbogason will feel his contribution to this wonderful fixture will almost be forgotten due to the dramatic way Alcácer grabbed his hat-trick. But, it was the Icelandic striker that opened up the scoring – dispatching the ball past Roman Bürki from an acute angle, the forward’s fourth goal in two games.
Yet it was Alcácer that stole the show. Two late goals ensured victory last week, and three second half goals – from the substitutes bench once again – allowed Dortmund to win this fixture in spectacular style.
His performances have given him six goals in seven games, he seems to be enjoying life in western Germany and a hat-trick this afternoon was capped by an added time wonder strike from distance.
Borussia Dortmund vs Augsburg : BVB – Top of the pile
With six points taken from losing positions in just the last two fixtures, Dortmund are looking like a side who can really challenge Bayern this season. The champions fell apart at home against Gladbach in the Saturday evening fixture, and this leaves Borussia Dortmund three points clear of their namesake, while the gap to Bayern is now five points.
If there was ever a time that a head coach didn’t want an international break, then it would probably be now for Lucien Favre.
Dortmund remain unbeaten and they have now won their opening four Bundesliga home games for the first time since the 2013/14 season. Can Favre bring back the glory days seen under Klopp? It certainly looks promising.
Borussia Dortmund vs Augsburg : Lineups
Bürki – Hakimi, Akanji, Zagadou, Diallo – Witsel, Weigl – Sancho, Reus, Bruun Larsen – Philipp
Coach: Lucien Favre
Luthe – Gouweleeuw, Khedira, Hinteregger – Framberger, Gregoritsch, Baier, Max – Hahn, Finnbogason, Caiuby
Coach: Manuel Baum
Chris Williams is a freelance European football journalist. Covering the Bundesliga, Premier League and both of UEFA’s European club competitions. Published in both local and international publications, he also contributes to television and radio across the globe. A member of the UK’s Sports Journalist Association and the International Sports Press Association (AIPS). Follow Chris Williams on Twitter @Chris78Williams