A sublime performance by Borussia Dortmund saw them beat local rivals Schalke 3-0 in what was a rather one sided game . Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marco Reus all netted to give Jurgen Kloppa s men a fourth consecutive win in the league.
Despite dominating proceedings since the first minute and boasting of 31 shots in total, Dortmund only managed to find the back of the net after 78 minutes when Mkhitaryan set up Aubameyang for an easy finish. Just a minute later, the Armenian managed to get on the score sheet after a low Gundogan cross from the right flank. To make matters worse for Schalke, a mistake from keeper Wellenreuther, who had a brilliant game until then, led to the third goal of the afternoon.
Here are some of the major talking points from the game:
1) Mkhitaryan finally scores!
After going over 1000 minutes without scoring or assisting, Henrikh Mkhitaryan managed to do both in yesterdaya s game. The Armenian always was a hard worker for the team a effortless running combined with terrific pace and skill all make him a normally, very dependant player, but poor decision making and sometimes, just dumb luck led to him being criticised and often dropped this season. However, with his hand (foot?) in 2 of the 3 goals, his confidence should receive a major boost for the remainder of the season, for him to prove to Klopp and the world why is a World class player. The stage has been set.
2) Dortmund played their best game in a long while
Often criticised for being dormant in midfield, and wasteful on the offence this season, Dortmund put all their demons behind them and delivered a sublime team performance. Marco Reus and Mkhitaryan looked to be at their best, and although the defence didna t appear to have much to do, they were always ready for it. Nuri Sahin and Ilkay Gundogan bossed the game from start to finish with the German international looking a similar player to what he was in 2013, and even Oliver Kirch, who would perhaps be a 4th choice defender were it not for injuries, put in a tireless shift. The first half seemed a little too similar to the Dortmund earlier this season with numerous chances created but no tangible end product. The second half addressed that – 3 goals in 8 minutes, which left us with a spectacle on how football is to be played, much unlike the other teama
3) Di Matteo doing no good to Schalke
After winning the Champions League in a rather untidy manner, Roberto Di Matteo took over from Jens Keller as Schalke manager to help them to European qualification once again next season. Although the club remain in a modest fifth position, Schalke look to be a very different side now. Boasting of a wealth of attacking talents like Max Meyer and Julian Draxler, the cluba s attacking philosophy is nowhere to be seen, as evident by just 4 goals scored in 2015 so far. A change to a 5 man backline seemed wise considering injuries to crucial players, but it has now backfired tremendously. Against Dortmund, Di Matteo opted to play two defensive midfielders in front of a back five, which was mercilessly exploited. Possession play, ball retention and even basic attacking play was completely absent. There is no denying the individual quality in the side, but all of it seems to be outshone by Di Matteoa s a parking-the-bus tacticsa . Ita s fine to lose, just try to play football at least!
4) Despite the gaffe, young Wellenreuther had a great game
When first team goalkeepers Ralf Fahrmann and Fabian Giefer were both injured simultaneously, 19 year old reserve team keeper Timon Wellenreuther shot to fame. Impressive performances against Real Madrid and Borussia Monchengladbach earlier meant that the youngster would be tasked with stopping the formidable Dortmund attack, and he didna t disappoint. Stunning saves from Aubameyang and Reus ensured that his team were still capable of holding onto a point at Dortmund. However, the blame for the third goal will be on him. Reus dispossessed the inexperienced youngster, who was hesitant to clear the ball to complete the defeat. With all this said, Wellenreuther should take this as a stepping stone and prove that he is capable of donning the gloves for a great team like Schalke, in order to become a Bundesliga star. He certainly has the potential.