Henrikh Mkhitaryan (r.) headed the opener in the 48th minute as Borussia Dortmund cruised to a 3-0 success at home to SC Paderborn 07 on Matchday 29...
Henrikh Mkhitaryan (r.) headed the opener in the 48th minute as Borussia Dortmund cruised to a 3-0 success at home to SC Paderborn 07 on Matchday 29...

Clinical Dortmund ease past Paderborn

Dortmund - A clinical second-half display ensured Borussia Dortmund eased to a comfortable 3-0 win over SC Paderborn 07 at the Signal Iduna Park on Matchday 29.

Dortmund labour

BVB burst out of the blocks in the first half, but were denied time and again by Lukas Kruse in the visitors’ goal. It took until the 48th minute for the floodgates to open, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s headed opener paving the way for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Shinji Kagawa to add the finishing touches to a resounding home victory.

Shorn of the inspirational figure of Marco Reus, Dortmund began the end of the Jürgen Klopp era in traditional fashion. The hosts peppered Kruse’s goal in the opening quarter-hour, with Matthias Ginter and Ilkay Gündogan both threatening from distance before Marcel Schmelzer’s run into the box was stopped in its tracks by good defensive work. Paderborn were deliberately sitting deep, however, and although Mkhitaryan flickered intermittently, the visitors’ restrictive game-plan was denying BVB.

It was from set-pieces where Dortmund tried to make their monopoly on possession count, yet Aubameyang blazed a free kick over from a good position in the 19th minute. Although sitting deep, Paderborn were content to foray forward on occasion, with Mario Vrancic an energetic and willing runner, but neither Roman Weidenfeller nor Kruse was unduly tested prior to the half-hour mark.

Mkhitaryan finds the key

The game was jolted out of passivity when Dortmund responded to Paderborn’s counter-attacks with their own pacey breaks. Erik Durm fired over, before Aubameyang came close three times in quick succession. The Gabonese forward shot high from Gündogan’s clever pass, then came within inches of connecting with Durm’s cross before Kruse produced a stunning save from his chipped effort. Mkhitaryan volleyed wide on the half-turn and Kagawa was next to be denied as the hosts went into the break in the ascendancy.

Their control was reflected on the scoreboard within three minutes of the restart when Aubameyang’s near-post cross was met by a superb header from Mkhitaryan to end the club's run of 231 minutes without a goal on home turf. BVB remained on top after the opener, with Gündogan crashing two shots against Paderborn defenders before Aubameyang turned scorer in the 56th minute, latching onto Ginter’s through-ball and dinking over the onrushing Kruse.

Kagawa adds the gloss

The second goal lifted a weight off BVB’s shoulders, who began to attack with abandon at every opportunity. Blaszczykowski drew another great save from Kruse, while Ginter should have crowned his good display in midfield with a goal when he fired over from close range. Srdjan Lakic spurned a solitary Paderborn opportunity at the other end, but it was the hosts who were denied a third in the 69th minute when Aubameyang’s finish was adjudged offside.

Gündogan again wasted a chance soon afterwards, but it was to matter little as Kagawa completed the rout in the 80th minute with a calm finish. Capitalising on Uwe Hünemeier’s slip, the Japanese international finished calmly past Kruse to send the sold-out home crowd into raptures and lift his side to within touching distance of the European spots.

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