striking gold

Aubameyang hits hat-trick in Dortmund rout as his battle with Robert Lewandowski continues

The striker was in superb form as his side reclaimed top spot in the Bundesliga and put in quite the display ahead of Real Madrid test.

BORUSSIA DORTMUND RETURNED to the Bundesliga summit after producing a scintillating attacking display to crush Borussia Monchengladbach 6-1 at Signal Iduna Park.

Peter Bosz’s side had briefly lost top spot following Hoffenheim’s 2-0 win over Schalke earlier on Saturday, but an imperious performance secured all three points against a shell-shocked Gladbach.

Two superb goals from Maximilian Philipp got them on their way before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who hit the woodwork three times, delivered a striking masterclass to score a hat-trick.

Despite Dortmund’s dominance, Gladbach carved out a number of openings themselves and scored a consolation through Lars Stindl just after the hour – the first goal Dortmund have conceded in the league this season.

Julien Weigl then scored the game’s best goal with a dipping volley from distance with a little over 10 minutes remaining.

The win sets Dortmund up perfectly for their mouth-watering Champions League clash against Real Madrid on Tuesday. Gladbach, meanwhile, will need to pick themselves up for the visit of Hannover next weekend.

Dortmund dominated possession in the early stages, but an incisive counter attack by Gladbach after 10 minutes created the game’s first clear chance.

Thorgan Hazard took advantage of an error by Weigl to drive towards the Dortmund area, but his powerful strike was too close to Roman Burki, who comfortably parried away.

Dortmund had to wait until the 19th minute before carving out their first opportunity. Sokratis Papastathopoulos created enough room on the edge of the area to scuff a half-volley towards goal, but Tobias Sippel was equal to it.

Christian Pulisic saw his deflected shot tipped over the bar by Sippel as the hosts cranked up the pressure.

Sippel then produced a stunning save to deny Aubameyang from point-blank range after the Gabon striker had latched onto Mario Gotze’s clever header.

From the resulting corner, Aubameyang ghosted in at the back post, only to be denied by the woodwork.

In an action-packed few minutes for the striker, he turned provider for the opener as his precise cross was wonderfully converted on the volley by Philipp.

Philipp then scored his second in the 38th minute after taking advantage of some generous defending from the visitors.

An interception on the edge of the area allowed Jeremy Toljan the space down Gladbach’s left to pull back for Philipp to expertly dispatch the ball into the top corner.

Aubameyang was denied again by the post, via a remarkable save from Sippel, but he finally got on the scoresheet a minute before the break.

Sokratis strode out of defence before playing a defence-splitting pass into Gotze’s path, and the Germany international calmly rolled the ball across goal for Aubameyang to slot into an empty net.

Any thoughts that Dortmund would let up their relentless approach in the second half were dispelled four minutes after the break as Aubameyang scored his second.

His header from Gotze’s free-kick cannoned back off the post but fell fortuitously for him to tap into an unguarded net again.

Aubameyang’s hat-trick came in the 62nd minute, as he ran onto Mahmoud Dahoud’s throughball to round Sippel and squeeze in from an acute angle.

Gladbach barely had time to breathe in the second period, but they found a consolation goal soon after when Stindl slotted home after good work from Hazard down Dortmund’s right.

But Weigl had the final say with a stunning late volley as Dortmund gleefully reclaimed top spot.

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