Borussia Dortmund have a foot in the knockout stages after picking up their third victory in as many UEFA Champions League matches! The Black & Yellows delivered an unstoppable display against Atlético Madrid, recording a 4-0 (1-0) victory over the La Liga runners-up to claim their sixth successive win in all competitions.

Boris Rupert reporting

The 66,099 spectators watching this intense, exciting encounter at Signal Iduna Park saw the Black & Yellows take a deserved lead through Witsel on the 38-minute mark. An Atlético resurgence in the early stages of the second half initially had the home side on the back foot but they weathered the storm and doubled their advantage through Guerreiro on the counter after 73 minutes, before Sancho added a third 10 minutes later. The outstanding Hakimi assisted both goals. Guerreiro then slotted home a fourth to round off the win with minutes to go!


The scenario: 
This was a clash between the 12th and third best teams in Europe according to the UEFA Five-Year Ranking. Having opened their respective campaigns with victories over Club Bruges and AS Monaco, both teams were level on six points at the top of the group going into this one. BVB had a positive head-to-head record against the Rojiblancos, whom they faced in 1965/66 and 1996/97, winning twice, drawing once and losing only once.

Personnel matters: 
Schmelzer and Akanji missed out through injury, as did Alcácer. Lucien Favre made two changes to the team that thrashed Stuttgart 4-0 on Saturday, introducing Pulisic and Götze in place of Sancho, who started on the bench, and Alcácer.

BVB kept their preferred 4-2-3-1 formation with Reus in the hole behind the striker and Götze as a false nine that looked to offer a passing option and link the play. The Black & Yellows reverted to their usual defensive formation of 4-4-2 when Atlético had the ball, with Reus playing alongside Götze. BVB tried to use quick and low passes to unpick holes in the 4-4-2 system of the visitors, who often overloaded their left flank with Filipe Luis, Koke and Griezmann.

The match & analysis:
In both tactical and technical terms, it was a Champions League match through and through. BVB were confident on the ball and created good attacking momentum down the left flank through Larsen and Hakimi, though Madrid's defence was untroubled at the outset and goalscoring chances initially remained few and far between in what was an intense and interesting match. Griezmann showed why you can't take your eyes off him for a second – the one time that did happen, in the 11th minute, the Frenchman immediately got a shot away – but otherwise Borussia had Atlético's attack completely under control in the first 45 minutes and posed a threat going forward themselves. Witsel's long-range effort was the first warning sign for the visitors (21). Then Hakimi cut in from the left flank at speed and Saul cleared the ball straight into the path of Pulisic, who blazed narrowly over the crossbar from a centre-right position 13 metres out.


But the first goal eventually came on 38 minutes when Pulisic cut in from the right and Dahoud picked out Hakimi on the left. The Morocco international cut the ball back for the unmarked Witsel, who took a couple of touches before unleashing a shot that took a deflection off Lucas on its way into the net. Zagadou had a chance to double the lead shortly afterwards but the French youngster's header from a corner was narrowly off target (42).

The half-time whistle sounded minutes later and BVB trudged off with a deserved 1-0 lead but two injuries – Delaney was replaced by Dahoud on 35 minutes, while Piszczek had to have stitches near his eye after being caught by Lemar.

It was a resurgent Atlético that emerged from the changing rooms, pinning the hosts into their own half, forcing errors in possession and creating chances. The best came in the 52nd minute when Saul struck the upright. Dortmund initially struggled to get any kind of sustained possession in the opposition half and, as such, did not really relieve the pressure on their defence. Reus did manage to waltz through the Atlético rearguard on 66 minutes, but before he could shoot from the edge of the six-yard box Hakimi got in the way and their misunderstanding thwarted an excellent opportunity!

Guerreiro and Sancho round off two counters

By bringing off Bruun Larsen and replacing him with Guerreiro shortly beforehand, Favre tried to stabilise the game – and the approach soon paid dividends. In the 73rd minute, the Portugal international started an attack that he subsequently rounded off by slotting home a fizzing cross into the box by Hakimi to make the score 2-0.

But Atlético's resolve remained unbroken and substitute Correa forced Bürki to make a world-class save, palming the ball onto the upright (78), before Griezmann hit the side-netting (80). Borussia, though, put the result beyond doubt minutes later when Götze picked out the unstoppable Hakimi, who drove into the box before perfectly timing a pass into the path of fellow substitute Sancho for a simple tap-in (83). And there was more to come: six minutes later, a misplaced pass from Filipe Luis was pounced upon by Guerreiro, who fired home his second goal of the night.

All the goals and highlights at a click

Saturday sees BVB take on Hertha BSC in the Bundesliga at Signal Iduna Park (kick-off 15:30 CET). The return fixture against Atlético in Madrid will be played on 6 November.

Teams & goals