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Dortmund take "important step" with five-star showing

James Thorogood
January 24, 2020

Erling Haaland was again amongst the goals as Borussia Dortmund ran rampant in their opening home game of 2020 to end Cologne's winning streak. Haaland will steal the headlines, but BVB's core deserve the plaudits.

Fußball Bundesliga Borussia Dortmund - 1. FC Köln
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/B. Thissen

Erling Haaland will steal the headlines after taking just two games to write his name in the Bundesliga history books, as his brace against Cologne saw him become the first every player to score five goals in two games. However, the big difference on Friday night was that Dortmund didn't need his two-goal salvo off the bench to save the game as they ended Cologne’s run of four straight wins. 

The hosts had already laid the foundations for victory before the 19-year-old entered the fray in the 65th minute, which all started with Raphael Guerreiro’s opener after just 53 seconds. Dortmund were ruthless in comparison to the 5-3 win over Augsburg. 

Mats Hummels was imperious, Marco Reus was a constant threat while Jadon Sancho worked his magic as all three stars stole the show in a stunning first-half performance that saw BVB fashion a two-goal lead.

“We set out to be more compact, make less mistakes than we did against Augsburg and, on home soil, we wanted to press more, push more and shown more ambition - we achieved that,” said Reus after the game. The Dortmund captain pulled the strings throughout with his side producing real menace whenever they pushed onto the front foot. 

“It’s was an important step forward for us all on the whole, myself included,” continued Reus. “I’ve always said that consistency is the key for us and for my game. Tonight we progressed our play and scored plenty of goals so the manner of victory was fair.”

Last season’s runners up are desperate to not fall further off the pace in a pulsating title race and have hit the ground running in 2020. 10 goals scored in two games is an impressive feat even if the performances weren’t of elite quality. What Dortmund proved on Friday night is they have elite quality in their ranks and Haaland looks set to bolster those numbers.

Borussia Dortmund 5-1 Cologne: AS IT HAPPENED!

(Guerreiro 1', Reus 29', Sancho 48', Haaland 77', 87'; Uth 65')


Borussia Dortmund produce a five-star showing in their first home game of 2020 making it virtually impossible to pick a man of the match. Hummels, Reus, Sancho and Haaland all deserve their plaudits. Mark Uth pulled a goal back for Cologne, who can have few complaints about the result. The margin of defeat may rankle though.

Fußball Bundesliga Borussia Dortmund - 1. FC Köln
Image: imago images/J. Huebner

87' GOAL! Dortmund 5-1 Cologne (Haaland)

This man just makes it look too easy, but this goal is ridiculous. Haaland does it again. He chases down a pass from Dahoud, takes the ball around Horn after beating him for pace and, just when the angle looks like it's against him, he just strokes it into the far corner.  


Tired legs and an all-or-nothing attitude are leaving Cologne exposed at the back as Hakimi plays a one-two with Sancho before seeing his effort denied by the outstreched leg of Timo Horn.

82' Happy Haaland

The Norwegian is becomes the first Dortmund player to score four goals in his first two games. Haaland isn't the first in the Bundesliga though with three players having achieved the feat: Pohjanpalo (2016, Leverkusen), Fenin (2008, Frankfurt), Wuttich (1963, Braunschweig) and Dörfel (1963, Hamburg) are the others. 

80' Double change

Cologne have brought on Rexhbecaj, while Mo Dahoud has replaced Marco Reus for Dortmund.

77' GOAL! Dortmund 4-1 Cologne (Haaland)

Haaland gets his goal with a true paocher's finish. Cologne's backline are at sixes and sevens with Dortmund players teeing up shots left right and center. When Guerreiro's effort is saved by Horn, the home's side's new sharpshooter reacts quickest to poke home the rebound in front of the Yellow Wall. 

75' An attacking change 

74' Dortmund comfortable?

Despite seeing their lead cut down to two goals, Dortmund have noticeably dropped the pace of proceedings and, as a result, sloppy passes are creeping in. When there is space they're not proving as sharp with their end product.

70' Uth ends drought

Uth had been having a torrid time of it at Schalke, but the loan move to his boyhood club has breathed new life into his career. His first goal for the Billy Goats ending a 16-game drought in Germany's top flight.

66' Chance for Haaland

Less than a minute after coming on Haaland is given a chance to stretch his legs, unfortunately a poor touch inside the box sees him scuff his first shot in front of the Yellow Wall. 

65' GOAL! Dortmund 3-1 Cologne (Uth)

Signed on loan from Schalke in the winter break, Mark Uth's first goal for Cologne comes against none other than Dortmund. The home side switch off from a corner and when the ball is played back in behind following a clearance, Uth is onto it in flash to slam an effort into the far corner.

62' Haaland coming on?

The Norwegian has just sprinted to the bench. How many does he fancy scoring off the bench in his first appearance at the Signal Iduna Park. Hazard is expected to make way.


The visitors hit the target for only the second time this evening as Mark Uth stings the palms of Bürki from the corner of the box. The Billy Goats have now had more shots on goal in the second half than they did in the first.

58' Guaranteed Dortmund win?

Dortmund have never lost a game in which Jadon Sancho has scored. Record: 15W 5D 

Snapshot from the Signal Iduna Park

Fußball Bundesliga Borussia Dortmund - 1. FC Köln
Image: Reuters/L. Kuegeler


Roman Bürki take a bow! Dortmund clear the ball only as far as Ehizibue whose drive is heading off target before it's turned towards goal by Mark Uth from close range forcing a point-blank save out of BVB's No1. It wouldn't have counted as the offside flag was up but Bürki wasn't to know.


Cologne need to tread carefully or this could become more embarassing than it needs to be because Dortmund are threatening at every turn. The last chance sees Sancho fire wide on the half-volley from a Guerreiro cross.

51' Second half specialists

Borussia Dortmund lead the league in second-half goals as Sancho makes in 33 for the current campaign. The Englishman has now scored eight goals in his last eight Bundesliga matches. 

48' GOAL! Dortmund 3-0 Cologne (Sancho)

It didn't take long in the first half and it didn't take long in the second as Dortmund add a third. Marco Reus slots the ball through to Jadon Sancho who has Czichos's feet scrambling before lashing a fierce effort beyond Horn. More agony for Cologne and another dream start to a half for the hosts.


There's been a change at half-time for Cologne as Markus Gisdol has brought on Florian Kainz to replace Jan Thielmann. The youngster had the visitor's first shot of the game, but struggled to make an impact in the first half.


Dortmund fans won't want to be reminded of the fact that their last home game saw them let a two-goal lead slip in a 3-3 draw against Leipzig. The good news is that the odds of that happening again are slim given that the last time Cologne overturned a two-goal deficit was in Feburary on 2011 in a 3-2 win over Bayern no less.


Dortmund have learned their lessons from the game against Augsburg and deservedly lead after a dominant first 45 minutes in which they've created chances, but most importantly, converted them too. Cologne have barely had a sniff at goal and you get the impression BVB are going to push on in the second half. Haaland will be chomping at the bit on the bench having seen how much space there is in behind Cologne's backline.

Bundesliga BvB Dortmund gegen Köln
Image: AFP/I. Fassbender


Guerreiro spots the space and picks out a delightful pass to play in Hazard one-on-one with Horn. The Belgian tries to nutmeg Cologne's No1, but he gets a big foot to the ball to clear. Dortmund look really sharp tonight.

38' A rare threat

Signs of life from Köln? Uth slips the ball through the legs of Witsel to feed Thielmann, but the youngster is muscled off the ball by Akanji allowing Bürki to snuff out the danger. 

35' Reus on the cusp of the Top 25

Reus' 126th goal in the Bundesliga moves him level on the all-time scoring charts with Martin Max, father of Augsburg's Philipp Max and a two-time Torjägerkanone winner. 

Snapshot from the Signal Iduna Park

Bundesliga BvB Dortmund gegen Köln
Image: picture-alliance/AP Photo/M. Meissner

29' GOAL! Dortmund 2-0 Cologne

Dortmund are two up? Hummels plays a delightful ball over the top to send Reus racing in behind. The BVB captain pokes the ball under the onrushing Horn, but the offside flag goes up. VAR is checking... it's tight.... but the goal is given! The lead is doubled as Reus moves onto 10 goals for the season. 

26' Cologne tame

A rare foray into the final third sees Skhiri played to the byline as he forces Bürki into a juggling act to gather his cross. There was no real threat though and the way this game is playing out it's hard to see Cologne mounting a comeback.

24' Sancho's sensational form

It's worth highlighting Sancho's role in the opening goal as the 19-year-old demonstrated fantastic composure and decision making to pick out Guerreiro. The England international has now been involved in 15 goals in his last nine competitive matches.

20' Familiar story

Tonight's trip to Dortmund is the 15th time this season that Cologne have fallen behind in a league game this season, the most of any Bundesliga team. In the previous 14 matches their record reads: 2W 2D 10L

17' Cologne not seeing much of the ball

The only players with more than 10 touches so far for the visitors is center-back Sebastian Bornauw. That's not a good sign after 17 minutes.


Dortmund twice go close to doubling their lead. Marco Reus stings the palms of Horn from the free-kick, before a corner that follows is headed onto the bar by Hummels. BVB look like they're relishing every attack and intent on making a statement on home soil.


Strange one here for VAR. Replays show that not only did Bornauw win the ball cleanly, but contact if any was outside the box. The penalty is rescinded, but Dortmund have been given a free-kick on the edge of the box with Bornauw being shown a yellow. It wasn't even a free-kick if you ask me. Brilliant challenge from the Belgian.

10' Dortmund penalty?

The home side haven't tried to force the issue since taking the lead, but break at pace before Bornauw goes flying in on Hakimi. Referee Harm Osmers considers the decision and then points to the spot. 

7' Richter tops the list

In case you're wondering, the fastest goal of the season was scored by Augsburg's Marco Richter in the 2-2 draw with Bayern on Matchday 8.

5' Quick off the mark

Guerreiro's goal goes down as the fastest of the season for Dortmund - only three players have scored quicker goals this season. It looks like BVB have managed to shake of the profligacy seen in the first half against Augsburg.   

3' Cologne respond

It doesn't take long for Cologne to fashion a chance for the equaliser as space opens up in BVB's backline allowing Thielmann to chance his arm from range. His effort, wide of the target.

1' GOAL Dortmund 1-0 Cologne (Guerreiro)

53 second is all it takes for Dortmund to break the deadlock! Jadon Sancho flits into a pocket of space before bursting into the box. The Englishman delays his cross before drilling a ball to feet for Guerreiro who beats Horn with a first-time effort.


Dortmund are undefeated in their last 27 Bundesliga home games on a Friday (W19, D8), Cologne have lost their last six. Will the Matchday 19 curtain-raiser follow the form books? 

Honoring a legend

Borussia Dortmund are wearing black armbands against Cologne following the death of Hans Tilkowski (former Borussia Dortmund and Germany international) and are commemorating it with a moving eulogy which has been followed  by a minute of applause.

Borussia Dortmund head coach Lucien Favre

"We need to be more systematic. We've done well in a 3-4-1-2 system up until now. Against Leipzig, in Berlin and that's why I think it's good that we've shown we can play in multiple systems. We could change things up after five minutes if we need to."

Borussia Dortmund head coach Lucien Favre on Haaland

"I said it a few times, but he hadn't trained much since December 10, so almost the whole month. He took part in some of our training camp, but not all of it. That's why we've got to be careful with him so it's also understandable that he's still not in the starting line-up." 

Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc on the Augsburg win

"We were in a situation where we should have been 3-0 up, maybe even 4-0 up before Augsburg broke the deadlock. Then we saw defensive problems that had reared their ugly head before the winter break come to the fore again and fortunately we were able to turn the game around." 

Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc on Haaland

"He's incredibly ambitious. The way he approaches the game is exemplary. His winning mentality was one of the reasons we wanted to sign him, but there were also other qualities. His finishing, his physicality and, especially for a player with his build, a great amount of pace."

Form side enters the fortress

No changes for Gisdol

The 'steady Eddie' approach has been taken by Markus Gisdol, who has opted not to change a winning formula as his Cologne side look to upset the odds at the Signal Iduna Park. 

Haaland on the bench

So Lucien Favre has decided to name an unchanged starting line-up in back-to-back Bundesliga matches for the first time since November meaning that Haaland's heroics will have to come from the bench again. The question is whether Dortmund will need them on home soil tonight? You've got to feel there are players who will out to prove a point after the first-half showing in Augsburg.  


Bürki – Piszczek, Akanji, Hummels – Hakimi, Witsel, Brandt, Guerreiro – Hazard, Reus, Sancho


Horn – Ehizibue, Bornauw, Czichos, Katterbach – Skhiri, Hector – Thielmann, Uth, Jakobs – Cordoba

Fun fact:

A 3-1 win over Wolfsburg last time out marked the first time in over 19 years (November - December 2000) that Cologne won four Bundesliga matches in a row. The last time they boasted a longer winning run in the top flight was in 1985 (7 wins on the bounce). 

From the coaches mouth: Lucien Favre

“We’ve got to play with a greater sense of concentration and be better in anticipating certain actions both defensively and in our forward movements. When we’ve got the ball we can’t afford to not occupy ourselves with what we’re going to do when we do lose it. Cologne have done very well to stabilize themselves. They’re very solid and are afraid to play younger players, the blend is functioning very well.” 

From the coaches mouth: Markus Gisdol

“Dortmund have plenty of excellent players. Sancho, Hazard, Reus - whoever plays, they have quality. With Haaland, they have a player who perhaps offers them something different. But we need to focus on ourselves. I'm not a fan of going into such a game after a few wins and saying "we've got nothing to lose". We want to go there and put in a top performance. We need to do that. It's another step and another level.” 

Fun fact:

Across all competitions, Cologne have not won in Dortmund since a 2-1 victory in April 1991 – they’ve been winless in 19 away games since. Since the founding of the Bundesliga, Cologne only have a similar ongoing winless run against Hamburger SV. 

Possible line-ups: Dortmund

Bürki – Hakimi, Akanji, Hummels, Guerreiro – Witsel, Brandt – Hazard, Reus, Sancho – Haaland

Pre-match spotlight: Erling Haaland

Lucien Favre was putting it mildly when he claimed that Erling Haaland "made a great impression" in the 5-3 win over Augsburg as he needed just 21 minutes to record the fastest hat trick by a Bundesliga debutant. The first teenager since Klaus Fischer in 1969 to score a Bundesliga hat-trick, Favre has talked up the talents of his new prodigy, but remained coy on whether the 19-year-old would start against Cologne, citing an extended winter break in the Austrian Bundesliga. 

Possible line-ups: Cologne

Horn – Ehizibue, Bornauw, Czichos, Katterbach – Skhiri, Hector – Kainz, Uth, Jakobs – Cordoba

Pre-match spotlight: Jhon Cordoba

26 matches… 26 matches Cologne fans had to wait for their beloved striker to score his first Bundesliga goal for the club. Now he can’t stop scoring! On Matchday 18, Cordoba scored his first Bundesliga brace on his 84th appearance against Wolfsburg. The Colombian has scored six goals in his last seven BL games – as many as in his previous 59 appearances combined. 

DW's match preview

Less than 100 kilometers (60 miles) separate these two storied clubs and after a stunning run from newly promoted Cologne, only 13 points separate them on the Bundelisga table.

The visitors have won four on the bounce under Markus Gisdol and will arrive at the Westfalenstadion with confidence. "It's no coincidence and it's not down to luck that we've won the last few games," the Cologne coach said in his pre-match press conference.

His opposite number, Lucien Favre, was grateful for an incredible debut hat-trick from new signing Erling Haaland last weekend which rescued BVB from a sticky situation against Augsburg. They currently sit fourth, seven points behind leaders RB Leipzig. 

"Erling Haaland made a great impression, he always trains at full throttle, he always wants to win," said Favre of his new charge. "If he misses a chance to score, he gets angry. It's great to train players like this - it's good for everyone.”

James Thorogood Sports reporter and editor, host of Project FußballJMThorogood