FC Augsburg recorded a maiden home victory in European competition to keep alive their hopes of progressing to the UEFA Europa League knockout stages thanks to a 4-1 triumph over Dutch side AZ Alkmaar.
Goals: 1-0 Bobadilla (24’), 2-0 Bobadilla (33’), 2-1 Janssen (45’), 3-1 Ji (66’), 4-1 Bobadilla (74’)
European survival was on the line for both teams going into this game, as they were joint-bottom of Group L on just three points from as many games prior to kick-off. As such there was a feisty opening, albeit without a great deal of goalmouth action initially. Raul Bobadilla changed all that in the 24th minute, however, curling a superb 20-yard free-kick in off the underside of the crossbar to put Augsburg in front.
Augsburg looked to be on course for a comfortable victory when the Paraguay international added a second shortly afterwards with a superb solo effort, but Vincent Janssen reduced the deficit for the visitors on the stroke of half-time. The Dutch side hit the crossbar twice after the break, but it was Augsburg who found the net again through a well-taken Dong-Won Ji strike. Bobadilla crowned a superb individual display late on, calmly stroking in his third of the evening to secure all three points.
Man of the match
Bobadilla’s outstanding hat-trick alone would have been enough to earn the 28-year-old the honour, but he cemented his status as the best player on the pitch with a muscular display that always had Alkmaar on the back foot.
Having started life in the competition with two defeats, Augsburg have given themselves an excellent chance of progressing to the knockout rounds with two successive wins over Alkmaar. Markus Weinzierl’s men now have six points, and move into second place in the table on goal difference.
- Bobadilla only had six shots on goal all game, but still managed to score three times.
- Augsburg defender Ragnar Klavan had more touches of the ball (82) than anyone else.
- The teams were evenly balanced in terms of possession, with each having 50 per cent.
Augsburg: Hitz- Verhaegh, Janker, Klavan, Max – Kohr, Baier (Feulner 65’) – Bobadilla (Bobadilla 78’), Ji, Caiuby – Matavz (Koo 55’)
Alkmaar: Coutinho – Johansson, Gouweleeuw, van der Linden, Haps - Luckassen, Rienstra (Ortiz 52’) - van Overeem, Henriksen (Haye 37’), Jahanbakhsh (Hupperts 77’) - Janssen