Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang netted a hat-trick on Sunday as Borussia Dortmund ran riot in a 5-1 home win over bottom side Augsburg to stay second in the Bundesliga.
Dortmund trimmed the gap at the top to seven points behind run-away leaders Bayern Munich as Aubameyang took his tally to 13 goals in 10 league games to become the joint top-scorer alongside Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski.
This was an emphatic victory for Dortmund, who tore the Augsburg defence to pieces as Japan midfielder Shinji Kagawa set up three of the goals.
Aubameyang claimed the third hat-trick in his two years at Dortmund.
“I have no secret, but I bet with my brother yesterday that I would score three goals, no joke, I have already had a few messages about it,” revealed Aubameyang when asked what is the secret of his goal-scoring success.
“The hat-trick is for my little son. I try to enjoy myself on the field. Sometimes you have good times when you can try everything and it comes off.”
Aubameyang opened his account after 18 minutes by finishing off a superb move started by right-back Matthias Ginter on the flank, as a series of quick passes saw Ilkay Gundogan provide the striker with a simple tap in.
Marco Reus doubled the lead on 21 minutes when he fired home a superbly worked cross from Kagawa and the fleet-footed winger claimed his second with his Japanese teammate again providing the final pass.
It was 3-0 at the break, but Augsburg striker Raul Bobadilla pulled a goal back when he out-jumped Mats Hummels from a free-kick to head home on 49 minutes.
It proved to be no more than a consolation as Aubameyang grabbed his second on 85 minutes, then took advantage of another good Kagawa pass to delay his shot before beating goalkeeper Roman Burki on 91 minutes.
Borussia Moenchengladbach thump Schalke 3-1
Ten-man Schalke stay third despite their 3-1 defeat at Borussia Moenchengladbach, who earned their fifth straight win under caretaker coach Andre Schubert which has taken them from bottom to seventh in the table.
Lars Stindl’s first-half penalty for Borussia was cancelled out by an own goal by Denmark defender Andreas Christensen before Brazil striker Raffael curled in a free kick on 70 minutes.
Schalke had midfielder Johannes Geis sent off on 80 minutes for stamping Andre Hahn’s knee before defender Julian Korb scored Gladbach’s third on 84 minutes.
On Saturday, Arjen Robben netted on his return from injury as Bayern Munich romped to a 4-0 home win against Cologne to claim their 10th straight win this season and 1000th victory in the Bundesliga.
Netherlands captain Robben scored in his first match since August after being sidelined with a groin strain while Arturo Vidal, Lewandowski and Thomas Mueller also got on the scoresheet.
Wolfsburg stayed fourth with a 1-0 win at Darmstadt as Daniel Caligiuri hit their 78th minute winner.
Fresh from their 4-4 draw at home to Roma in the Champions League on Tuesday, Bayer Leverkusen had to come from 2-0 down before beating Stuttgart 4-3 in another thriller.
The victory lifted Leverkusen to sixth while Stuttgart remain in the bottom three.
Nigeria striker Anthony Ujah scored twice as Werder Bremen broke their five-match losing streak with a 3-1 win at Mainz where Japan striker Yoshinori Muto scored the hosts’ consolation goal in the 90th minute.
The result lifted Bremen out of the relegation zone and up to 14th while Mainz dropped to 13th.
Midfielder Marc Stendera was Eintracht Frankfurt’s star with both of their second-half goals in a 2-1 comeback victory at Hanover 96, who hang just above the relegation places.
Hertha Berlin are fifth after their 1-0 win at Bavarian side Ingolstadt on Saturday night when ex-Bayern Munich midfielder Mitchell Weiser scored the winner after just 11 minutes.
Ten-man Hoffenheim are second-from-bottom after their 1-0 defeat to Hamburg on Friday thanks to Pierre-Michel Lasogga’s late winner.
Hoffenheim’s Bosnian defender Ermin Bicakcic was sent off for a second yellow card.