Borussia Dortmund will enter the October international break as league leaders. While this was also the case last year after a 2-1 away win in Augsburg, the two situations can hardly be compared. In 2017, a certain skepticism had started to creep in. This year, after the 4-3 win over Augsburg, the Black and Yellows are riding a wave of euphoria.
''It was a fantastic game for everyone, full of so many emotions,'' said Lucien Favre. Although it was a match in which the team experienced a lot of setbacks, all BVB fans, wherever they were, never stopped believing in the team. Most would have celebrated a 3-3 draw. It was perhaps Augsburg's coach Manuel Baum who summed it all up best: ''It was so difficult for us because we had the sense that we weren't just up against eleven players on the pitch; we were up against a whole lot more.''
After going behind 1-0 and then 2-1 on the scoreboard, despite the disappointment of seeing Augsburg draw level at 3-3 immediately after substitutes Paco Alcácer and Mario Götze had seemingly turned the match around, the Borussia players never stopped believing. ''This desire to never give up really marks this team out,'' said Sebastian Kehl: ''We can take so much from this experience. I hope the feeling from today continues to accompany us.''
The referee's watch read 96 minutes as Paco Alcácer stood over the ball after a foul on Achraf Hakimi. He then sent the free kick into Augsburg's goal from 25 yards out and won the match 4-3. Anyone who had thought that last week's comeback from 2-0 down to win 4-2 in Leverkusen was something that wasn't going to be topped for a long time, well, they certainly know better now.
Find balance, sort out defensive weaknesses
''We were stunned. This team is so good. We have such good players, such a good mentality. Everything is going our way at the moment,'' stated Roman Bürki, who once more helped pave the way for the win with some superb saves. ''They played fantastically well,'' said Lucien Favre about the opposition: ''It was really difficult for us. It was really hard finding space through our build-up play.'' After he'd been able to take a breather, the coach gave his summary of the match: ''We're playing very well on the offensive side of things, we're able to unsettle our opponent. We have to find the balance. It's all about the details. We have plenty of work to do defensively. There are a lot of small things that we need to sort out.''
The team - which with an average age of 23.5 was the youngest Dortmund starting line-up since November 2011 - has plenty of development ahead of it, and is pushed forward by a desire to learn. ''We believed in ourselves right until the very end,'' said Manuel Akanji, emphasising what had been arguably the most important factor. Once more - after Fürth, Leipzig and Leverkusen - the team came from behind to win, once more aided by late goals.
Sebastian Kehl, manager of the first team squad, felt the full range of emotions from his position on the bench: ''I had goosebumps when it went 3-2, then I was so frustrated after we conceded, and then at the end just beyond happy. It was a day filled with so many emotions.''
This is what Borussia Dortmund are synonymous with in October 2018: emotion, inspiration, unbelievable football.