Borussia Dortmund remain top of the Bundesliga table after extending their winning run in the league to four games with a 4-0 (3-0) away victory in Stuttgart on Matchday 8.
Boris Rupert reporting from Stuttgart
Jadon Sancho opened the scoring for the Black & Yellows in the second minute, with quick-fire goals from Marco Reus (23) and Paco Alcácer (35) making it 3-0 midway through the first half. BVB had the game firmly under control in what was yet another clinical display, but they were almost undone by Stuttgart on several occasions after the interval. Bürki was not beaten, though, and Maximilian Philipp added a fourth with five minutes remaining to set a new club record − it is the first time ever that Borussia Dortmund have scored 27 goals in their first eight games of the season.
The Black & Yellows went into this one with an outstanding recent record at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, having won seven of their last nine and only lost one of their last 14. BVB had more away victories in Stuttgart than anywhere else (13). That said, they had lost more than twice that number of games in the Swabian capital (27).
Lucien Favre was without Akanji, Schmelzer, Wolf and Guerreiro, and made three changes to the starting XI that beat Augsburg 4-3 last time out: Piszczek, Delaney and Alcácer, who was making his first league start, began in place of Akanji, Weigl and Philipp.
The Black & Yellows, who lined up in their usual 4-2-3-1 formation, fielded an almost entirely new-look defence. Hakimi moved across to the right flank from his usual role as left-back, while Diallo returned to central defence alongside Zagadou, the only player in the BVB rearguard to keep the same position as the previous match. Stuttgart took to the field in a 4-1-3-2 in which Gonzalez played in the hole behind Gomez. The resulting gap down the Stuttgart left was filled by left-back Insua, who looked to get forward. At the half-time interval, VfB switched to a 5-3-2 formation.
The match & analysis:
Borussia Dortmund, who had won each of their last four matches in all competitions, delivered a commanding display in Swabia and took an early lead with only two minutes on the clock. Having picked the ball up on the left flank, Bruun Larsen played it towards Reus, whose cross into the six-yard box was intercepted by Baumgartl. But the loose ball rebounded into the path of Sancho, whose shot from around eight metres out took a fortunate deflection off Insua's thigh and wrong-footed Zieler before nestling in the back of the net.
BVB let VfB have more of the ball in the period that followed, and a deflected shot from Gentner that Bürki parried over the bar was the first sign of danger (20). But the Black & Yellows responded in their usual fashion, raising the tempo and leaving Stuttgart chasing shadows. Reus played a fine pass over to Piszczek on the right and his cross into the middle was cleverly dummied by Alcácer, allowing Reus to hammer home the second (23). The third came barely two minutes later when Reus intercepted a misplaced Pavard pass on the halfway line and found Alcácer, who took advantage of Zieler's hesitation in coming off his line and beat the shot-stopper with a lob. 3-0 inside 25 minutes!
Stuttgart with chances after the interval
The Swabians switched to a 5-3-2 formation at the interval in a bid to halt the Black & Yellows' momentum, and might have got themselves back in the game had an unmarked Gentner not headed over from close range following a 48th-minute corner. Tommy subsequently hit the side netting (50) and Bürki made an outstanding stop to deny Ascacibar (52). Favre was not at all happy with the carelessness his team was showing. By the 70-minute mark VfB were dominating the stats, with more chances (5-4) and shots (11-8). Most of the Dortmund counter-attacks petered out and a long-range effort from Hakimi in the 75th minute had been their most dangerous opportunity. Given that they have another six matches to play over the next three weeks, however, it was perhaps understandable for the Black & Yellows to drop down a gear with the result already sewn up.
With five minutes remaining, Philipp ended his goalscoring drought when he rounded off a counter-attack with a tidy shot into the far corner.
Borussia Dortmund now have three home games in a row, starting with a clash with Atlético Madrid at Signal Iduna Park on Wednesday (21:00 CET). That will be followed by two meetings with capital clubs Hertha BSC (in the Bundesliga next Saturday, 15:30 CET) and Union Berlin (in the DFB Cup the following Wednesday, 18:30 CET).