Augsburg - Borussia Dortmund survived a late FC Augsburg fightback to beat die Fuggerstädter 3-2 at the SGL Arena on Friday evening.
Dortmund get into gear
Marco Reus marked his return to the Germany national team with the opening goal and an assist for Sokratis Papastathopoulos, before Adrian Ramos opened his Dortmund account with the third. Augsburg went down fighting with Raul Bobadilla reducing the arrears and Tim Matavz setting up a grandstand finish, but they were unable to find an equaliser.
Augsburg's bright early start to the game proved to be a false dawn as they were soon forced onto the back foot by wave after wave of Dortmund attacks. The irrepressible Henrikh Mkhitaryan was at the heart of most of BVB's sweeping moves forward, striking fear into Augsburg's players and fans alike whenever he gained possession of the ball.
Their first chance came from another source, though, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang coming within inches of connecting with Lukasz Piszczek's teasing low cross from the right. Reus, fresh from the announcement of his return to the Germany fold, gave the guests the lead after a typically slick move, exchanging passes with Kevin Großkreutz before slotting the ball coolly past Marwin Hitz.
Mkhitaryan got his head down again to carve out another opening for Piszczek, who managed to force a corner. BVB took full advantage of the set piece as Reus lifted the ball in for Papastathopoulos, who was afforded too much room to ghost in behind Neven Subotic and power in a header. Augsburg punctuated Dortmund's dominance with a number of counter-attacks, Nikola Djurdjic wasting their best chance in the 37th minute by dragging his shot wide of the far post, but it was otherwise one-way traffic at the SGL Arena.
Mkhitaryan went close on the stroke of the interval and Augsburg will have been glad to hear the half-time whistle after an uncomfortable first 45 minutes for the hosts. The second period almost started just as painfully for Markus Weinzierl's side when Reus put Großkreutz through, but the 26-year-old dallied too long on the ball, allowing the Augsburg defence to recover and get in a block.
Enough damage had evidently been done in the first half, however, with Dortmund lacking the same verve as the game wore on, inviting Weinzierl's men to attack the visitors. The introduction of Bobadilla provided Augsburg with another attacking option and he curled a free-kick over during a good spell for the hosts.
Aubameyang forced another good save out of Hitz, but the Augsburg keeper could do nothing to prevent Ramos from tucking in his first Bundesliga goal for BVB from close range after the stopper had parried Mkhitaryan's effort. Bobadilla replied at the other end to reduce the deficit and when Matavz headed in a second Dortmund started to get nervous. Klopp's charges held on, however, to record a priceless victory in Bavaria.
Line-ups and statistics
Ben Gladwell reporting from the SGL Arena