Henrikh Mkhitaryan (right) smahes in Dortmund's second goal in a friendly against FC Basel on Wednesday evening © imago
Henrikh Mkhitaryan (right) smahes in Dortmund's second goal in a friendly against FC Basel on Wednesday evening © imago

Newcomers dazzle on Dortmund debut

Basel - Traditional wisdom declares that as a recently arrived recruit at a new club you're supposed to need a few weeks, if not months, to settle in and find your place in the side. You're not supposed to hit the ground running, let alone steal the show.

Goal threat

It is therefore testament to the quality of Borussia Dortmund's new trio that they did just that. And not against a weak, provincial side but in a 3-1 triumph over UEFA Champions League participants FC Basel, on a stopover en route to BVB's training camp in Bad Ragaz, in eastern Switzerland.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan in particular stood out, seamlessly forming part of the Dortmund tapestry in attacking midfield. The Armenian wasted no time in demonstrating why Jürgen Klopp was so keen to bring him on board, bursting in to the box in the 11th minute before squaring to for an easy tap in.

A momentary lapse from a free-kick allowed the hosts to equalise, before the new No10 saw his own name in lights just before the half-hour mark courtesy of a left-footed half-volley from the edge of the area that bounced in off the post. Mkhitaryan almost created another goal in the 45th minute, but could only hit the post from his defence-splitting through ball.

Strength in depth

The woodwork also denied fellow newcomer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after the break, when the Gabon international's curling effort from 18 yards beat the keeper only to ricochet off the foot of the post. The goal would have crowned a promising maiden appearance for the winger, whose pace and trickery caused Basel numerous headaches in the second period.

At the opposite end of the pitch, Sokratis staked his claim for berth in the starting line-up. The towering Greek centre-back partnered Mats Hummels in the first half and was a composed presence throughout, before making way for Neven Subotic in the second period. Youngster Jonas Hofmann made it 3-1 late on and the only sour note as the team headed to Bad Ragaz, which will be their base until 18 July, was an injury to left-back Marcel Schmelzer, who was substituted with adductor muscle complaint after half an hour.