Dortmund - Asked whether he can overtake FC Bayern München’s Robert Lewandowski in the Bundesliga scoring chart this season, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang replied with a chuckle: “That will be difficult my friend.”
Yet if anyone is capable of doing so then it is the Gabon international, who, with nine league goals already this term, is just one behind Lewandowski.
The early race for the Bundesliga’s Torjägerkanone will be one of many intriguing subplots when the two strikers meet on the pitch at the Allianz Arena this Sunday in the next instalment of der Klassiker. Dortmund go into the fixture having suffered a disappointing 2-2 draw at home to promoted side SV Darmstadt 98 on Matchday 7 – a game in which Aubameyang was again BVB’s Mr. Dependable.
The 26-year-old struck a brace – his second of the campaign and eighth time in 72 Bundesliga outings that he has scored two or more in a game. In doing so he continued a remarkable run of form: Aubameyang has found the net in each of his club’s seven league assignments this season, a feat that has never before been achieved at the start of a Bundesliga campaign.
Next target in sight
“Scoring goals does me good,” Aubameyang said. “As a striker it’s my job to score and I’m very happy about that.” Of all his prominent predecessors at Dortmund, including Lucas Barrios, Ewerthon, Jan Koller, Marcio Amoroso, Stephane Chapuisat and Karl-Heinz Riedle, only Lothar Emmerich managed to hit the net nine times in the first seven games of a season, and that was back in 1965/66.
The next club record in Aubameyang’s crosshairs is one held by Lewandowski himself. The Polish forward once scored in 12 successive matches for Dortmund; Aubameyang is currently on nine, stretching back to last season. And at his present rate, the No.17 will easily surpass the 20-goal target he set himself for the 2015/16 Bundesliga campaign.
Aubameyang is renowned for his breathtaking pace, but he is only so prolific thanks to the combination of several attributes. His technique and reading of the game are excellent, while his willingness to roam the pitch and drag his markers out of position should not be underestimated. Indeed, Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel recently singled out Aubemeyang’s “outstanding movement” for special praise.
He will be hoping to put that to good use again in Munich on Sunday, and perhaps even leapfrog Lewandowski in the scoring chart. On current form, you would not bet against him doing so.
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