Borussia Dortmund cruised to a 6-0 win on the road against Legia Warsaw to kick off their Champions League campaign. All six goals were scored by six different players, with Mario Götze opening the flood gates, followed by Sokratis, Marc Bartra, Raphael Guerreiro, Gonzalo Castro and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Mixed Zone Interviews: Legia Warsaw (away)
A small bit of rotation was expected before this game, especially after Castro and Sebastian Rode’s stinkers at the weekend. Head coach Thomas Tuchel gave Guerreiro his long-awaited first start in a Dortmund shirt, while Christian Pulisic and Ousmane Dembélé both also made their Champions League debuts.
Andre Schürrle was the only surprising exclusion, sitting out with a twisted knee. Dortmund’s lineup had an average age of only 24.3 years, which could have been even younger if Felix Passlack had gotten the start over Lukasz Piszczek.
— Stefan Buczko (@StefanBuczko) September 14, 2016
The match was dominated by the Black and Yellows from the very first kick. It took Dortmund all of seven minutes to find the opening goal, which was headed in by Götze off a superb cross from Dembélé. It was an action-packed first 20 minutes of the match, as the visitors hardly gave Legia a chance to cross half field. The home side conceded the next two goals off free kicks, the first delivered on a platter to Sokratis from Guerreiro, while the second was nearly scored by the Portugal international himself, but tapped in by Marc Bartra after bouncing around in front of goal.
It was the Guerreiro show on display in the Polish Army Stadium, completely overwhelming the Legia defence. He seems to be a perfect fit in midfield despite being more known as a left back. With skills similar to those of Ilkay Gündogan, it is hard to imagine Castro or Rode being preferred over him.
Dortmund relented a bit towards the end of the half, but not without Aubameyang getting on the end of a Legia mistake. He’s yet to completely shake off his 2016 struggles, as he attempted to chip the keeper but didn’t come very close. Dembélé was searching hard for his first competitive Dortmund goal, taking many speculative efforts from distance, only coming close once.
The second half had a much slower pace than the first, but that didn’t make it any easier for Legia, who struggled for the full 90 minutes. Only six minutes after the restart, Guerreiro scored his first Dortmund goal. The 22-year-old beautifully drove the ball home with his left foot after Dembélé danced around in the box, seeing his effort blocked.
Dortmund took their foot off the gas after getting the fourth goal, seemingly content with the goal difference. Tuchel made two changes around the 75th minute, bringing on Castro and the dangerous Emre Mor. The two almost instantly combined for the fifth goal, as Emre Mor collected the ball beautifully and played in Christian Pulisic. The 17-year-old then flashed a brilliant ball across goal to Castro, who had the simple task of poking it home.
It was a deserved assist for Pulisic, who put in a strong performance. He wasn’t involved in every goal, but he was a constant threat in attack and could’ve had another assist or two if it weren’t for Aubameyang’s impressions of one Edinson Cavani.
The assault on Legia didn’t stop there, however, as Aubameyang finally got himself on the scoresheet, chipping in Dortmund’s sixth goal the night. He rounded and chipped the keeper in the most Aubameyang of fashions, topping off an incredible beatdown.
Yellow Wall Game Ball
It’s usually hard to pick a winner when a team scores six goals from six different players, but this time it wasn’t so difficult. The award goes to Raphael Guerreiro for dominating in his first start for Dortmund. He was exactly what Dortmund needed in the midfield after two league games with absolutely no creativity in attack, and he even got in on the goalscoring action himself. Cast your vote here!
That was awesome. Who's your man of the match?
— Yellowwallpod (@Yellowwallpod) September 14, 2016
It was a much-needed strong performance from the team after struggling mightily in the first two league games. Dortmund currently sit atop group F, ahead of Real Madrid on goal difference. In our next Champions League game we host the holders, with the Blancos narrowly beating Sporting CP on a 93rd-minute winner from Alvaro Morata in the group’s other fixture on Wednesday.