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Pre-match report

Bundesliga

Another crazy comeback as last-gasp Alcácer free-kick seals 4-3 win

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Borussia Dortmund claimed their fourth successive home win on Matchday 7 of the Bundesliga season, beating FC Augsburg 4-3 (0-1) in breathtaking style to ensure they will remain top of the table over the international break.

Boris Rupert reporting

The 81,365 spectators at a sold-out Signal Iduna Park witnessed a tactically astute display from FC Augsburg, who were not undeserving of their half-time lead despite the controversial manner in which Finnbogason broke the deadlock in the 22nd minute. Borussia Dortmund restored parity through Alcácer, who had come off the bench minutes earlier, on the hour mark but Max re-established the FCA lead on 71 minutes. Alcácer's second strike drew BVB level (80) before a Götze goal put the hosts ahead for the first time (84), though they were pegged back three minutes later when Gregoritsch headed home. However, Paco Alcácer had the final word in the sixth minute of added time, curling home a direct free-kick to seal a 4-3 win. Lucien Favre has now won his first four home league games in charge and, in doing so, has equalled a record set by Ottmar Hitzfeld, the only previous BVB coach to have achieved this feat.

The scenario: 
League leaders Borussia Dortmund were hosting eighth-placed Augsburg, who travelled to Signal Iduna Park with an even away record (W1 D1 L1) that included a 1-1 draw at Bayern Munich 10 days ago.

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Personnel matters:
BVB were without Wolf (torn fibres in thigh), as well as Pulisic, Toprak (both torn fibres), Schmelzer (knee problem) and Kagawa (ankle injury), while Alcácer started on the bench after recovering from a minor injury and not ready to feature in the starting line-up after playing the full 90 minutes in the Champions League on Wednesday. Götze was handed a recall to the squad. In total, Favre made four changes to the starting XI that beat Monaco by a 3-0 scoreline, reintroducing Hakimi, Weigl, Bruun Larsen and Philipp in place of Piszczek, Delaney, Wolf and Alcácer.

Tactics:  
While Dortmund lined up in a 4-2-3-1 system, Augsburg opted for a 5-1-3-1 formation with Khedira between the centre-backs and Finnbogason the lone frontman. The other nine outfield players kept the space tight and looked to get forward at pace after winning the ball back. They were well-positioned, pressed courageously with four players often deep in the Dortmund half and closed off the passing channels, forcing the BVB defenders into playing long balls.

The match & analysis:
Despite their defensive set-up, Augsburg did not sit back and looked to get forward whenever they could without leaving themselves exposed at the back. The first warning sign for BVB came in the 10th minute as Hahn shot from a narrow angle, while the hosts only threatened once in the opening quarter of an hour. Sancho broke through down the right flank and cut the ball back to Reus, whose shot from an unmarked centre-right position eight metres out flew over (15). Only seven minutes later Augsburg broke the deadlock when a Max free-kick landed at the feet of Finnbogason, who slotted home from close range to make it 1-0 (22). The goal stood despite Hahn fouling Reus in the build-up.

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Opportunities to equalise soon presented themselves to BVB, with a long-range Hakimi effort forcing FCA shot-stopper Luthe into a save before Zagadou's header and Witsel's follow-up from the ensuing corner were both blocked at the last second (25). The Black & Yellows trudged off at half-time having had more shots (8-3), more possession and more tackles won (both 58 percent) − but behind on the one stat that really matters: goals.

Second half gets off to flying start

Two top chances fell to FC Augsburg within the space of seconds after the restart, with Bürki first making a phenomenal save to deny Gregoritsch and then following it up with another close-range stop against Gouweleeuw. Another foul on Reus in midfield was not spotted by the referee in the build-up. The captain was again in the thick of the action a short while later when he was brought down in the box by Gouweleeuw, whose challenge made contact with both ball and man before striking Reus' other leg (53).

Then, in the 62nd minute, Witsel won the ball back near the halfway line and steered a perfect pass into the path of Sancho on the right-flank. The English youngster delivered a precise cross into the box, where super sub Alcácer was lurking to level the score at 1-1. In the minutes that followed, Gregoritsch cleared Zagadou's header (69) and an unmarked Alcácer blazed a ball from Sancho over the bar (71).

At the other end, Finnbogason struck the bar (63) and Akanji made a block to thwart Caiuby (70) – before Max re-established the Augsburg lead when he latched onto Hahn's wayward effort and fired past Bürki (71).

Götze gets goal as Alcácer completes hat-trick

A good football match turned into an outstanding one in the 80th minute when Guerreiro played a quick free-kick into the path of Alcácer, who let the ball bounce once before firing a shot from a centre-right position 10 metres out to make it 2-2 (80). It became 3-2 only four minutes later as Hakimi picked out substitute Götze, whose shot from a narrow angle sent the crowd into raptures! But the lead only lasted three minutes before Gregoritsch headed home a corner.

Borussia poured forward in search of a winner but Alcácér's effort following a corner went narrowly wide (89) and Witsel's strike missed the target by centimetres (90).

However, there was still to be one last chance in the 96th minute. Guerreiro initially stepped up to take the free-kick after Hakimi had been fouled, but Alcácer claimed the ball off his team-mate and curled it around the wall and into the net from 23 metres. 4-3! That was the last moment of the match. Then it was party time.

All the goals and highlights at a click

Outlook: 
The league will now pause for the second international break of the season, with BVB set to resume domestic action when they travel to VfB Stuttgart on 20 October.

Teams & goals