Dortmund - Robert Lewandowski grabbed a hat-trick as Borussia Dortmund thrashed VfB Stuttgart 6-1 in another thriller between these two Bundesliga sides on Friday night.
Karim Haggui provided nothing more than a false dawn for the Swabians when he put them in front, as Sokratis Papastathopoulos soon levelled, before Marco Reus put Dortmund in front. Up stepped Lewandowski to then notch Dortmund’s next three goals, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang sealing the victory to take Dortmund top of the Bundesliga, for the time being at least.
It was immediately clear that this game was going to be closer, in terms of goals and drama, to the 4-4 classic from March 2012 than the 0-0 from last season, with Reus almost setting up an immediate opener for Dortmund. Jakub Blaszczykowski followed that up with an almost impossible curling effort from the right touchline, which Sven Ulreich only just managed to tip over the crossbar as he was tracking back.
Stuttgart have become a potent from set pieces this term and it was no surprise to see them take the lead from a corner. Just moments after Roman Weidenfeller was only able to push a dangerous free-kick behind, Haggui was left in space eight yards from goal to head the ball into the ground with the bounce taking it over Nuri Sahin on the goal line .
For the ninth game in a row this season, Stuttgart had scored from a set-piece, but it was a case of anything you can do, we can do too as Papastathopoulos then headed Sahin's corner past Ulreich to bring the hosts level, his first headed goal in the Bundesliga. Order had been restored, and it was not long before Dortmund were asserting their authority, with Reus putting them in front with a low left-foot drive from 18 yards.
Further chances were scuppered by the home side with Lewandowski’s lob falling wide, and they were almost punished just before the break when Timo Werner charged into the penalty area, beating four men but eventually unable to get a shot on goal. Play resumed for the second half with Maxim sending a free-kick over the crossbar before the monologue commenced.
Reus teed up Lewandowski with a back-heeled assist to fire in Dortmund’s third before, almost straight from the restart, the Pole was put through by an inch-perfect long pass from Henrikh Mkhitaryan, needing only to adjust his body to sweep in a low finish. Two goals in two minutes, and Stuttgart’s chances had evaporated, with Lewandowski grabbing a brace for the third time this season to move to the top of the scoring charts.
He then extended his advantage by completing his hat-trick after Blaszczykowski’s shot was deflected onto the post, raising three fingers to mark his first treble in the Bundesliga and the first by a Dortmund player since their own sporting director Michael Zorc managed the feat in 1994. He almost had a fourth, but the ball had already crossed the line from Aubameyang’s deflected lob late on, Dortmund's 31'st goal of the campaign.
Line-ups and statistics
Lewandowski's hat-trick confirmed once again how powerful the Pole is. See five of his best goals, courtesy of the official Bundesliga YouTube channel: