Much to the delight of the coach – and of the fans, who were not left cold despite temperatures around freezing – Borussia Dortmund found the right balance between attacking power and defensive stability in their home game against 1. FC Cologne.
"Although we also scored five goals and got the three points last week – and away from home as well – we produced a better performance against Cologne. But we needed to do that too. We didn't play well in Augsburg and made too many mistakes," said captain Marco Reus (who notched a goal and an assist) of the 5-1 home victory over the Billy Goats. "It was a step forwards. The victory was never really in doubt at any point. The early goal settled us."
Defensive leader Mats Hummels, who himself set up two goals, was equally satisfied after the final whistle: "We performed well and shut down the problems that we had in Augsburg in terms of simple possession giveaways and a lack of movement towards our own goal. Everyone tracked back well."
Hummels & Co. found inventive solutions to circumvent the high press from their opponents, creating 11 chances and scoring five goals. Though they were perhaps guilty of allowing Cologne too much sight of their own goal midway through the second half – Uth made it 3-1 on 65 minutes – and towards the end. But there wasn't much to moan about, said the centre-back, who only felt that had been "a small phase in the second half that wasn't as good".
That could easily be forgiven on an evening where their attacking power was in full flow. Borussia Dortmund now have 51 goals on the board – more than any other club in the Bundesliga (as of Saturday morning). Around 10% of that tally have been scored by Erling Haaland, who made history by becoming the first player in the division to score five goals in his first two games. He's done so in only 56 minutes and – almost more remarkably – with only six shots. "The beginning's been quite alright," said Hummels of his new team-mate with a smile. More seriously, he added: "He's a great lad with a superb attitude. We're delighted that we've managed to add a really good striker to our squad."
The fixture list has handed Borussia another home game next weekend. Jadon Sancho, who got a goal and an assist yesterday, is looking forward "to next week, to Union Berlin. We lost the reverse fixture. We want revenge." We mustn't get ahead of ourselves, said Hummels, but "our aim is to start the second half of the season with nine points".