Borussia Dortmund capitalized on Bayern Munich's slip-up with a thrashing of Hertha Berlin. Four of Dortmund's second half goals came courtesy of Erling Haaland, as teenager Youssoufa Moukoko made Bundesliga history.
Hertha Berlin 2-5 Borussia Dortmund, Olympiastadion
(Cunha 33', 79' pen — Haaland 47', 49', 62', 80', Gueirrero 70')
Youssoufa Moukoko, the most talked about 16-year-old in world football, made his much-anticipated Borussia Dortmund debut — but it was their established center forward whose callous display of goalscoring in Berlin closes the gap to Bayern to a single point.
Moukoko, the Cameroon-born goalscoring sensation, was introduced for the final five minutes of the game, making Bundesliga history as the youngest ever player in Germany's top-flight at 16 years and one day. But this game was all about the man he replaced.
Erling Haaland may only be 20 himself but he's already one of the very best in the business and his finishing ability can be matched only by Robert Lewandowski in the Bundesliga, and a handful of strikers outside of Germany. If Moukoko wants to learn his trade from anyone, there are few better players to be shadowing than Haaland.
Such a vast margin of victory didn't always look likely though. Dortmund were disjointed in the first half and Hertha Berlin, more aggressive and direct than the visitors, took a deserved lead through Matheus Cunha's sumptuous strike, raising Hertha’s hopes of pulling off the second shock of the day. The whirlwind that was to follow after the break was as impressive as it was unexpected.
Haaland’s first came two minutes after the restart and was a tap-in after an incisive move that allowed Emre Can deliver a fine ball from the right, from which the Norwegian couldn’t miss.
His second, just two minutes later, was classic Haaland. Collecting Julian Brandt's reverse pass, he rifled an unstoppable drive beyond Alexander Schwolow to flip the game on its head and send Dortmund into the ascendency. Haaland's hat-trick goal came 16 minutes after his first and was punishment for a slack Hertha back pass, from which Haaland was able to profit after rounding Schwolow.
Raphael Gueirrero poked in a fourth and Haaland thundered in another for his fourth – and Dortmund’s fifth – to complete the rout. Cunha pulled one back from the spot to make the final score a little more respectable for Hertha, but the damage was long since done.
Moukoko will enter the record books for his appearance, but this game will be remembered by a virtuoso performance by Dortmund's sublime number nine.
As it happened - by Chuck Penfold
Fulltime The ref blows the final whistle.
* 90' The fourth official indicates there will be three minutes of added time.
* 84* Substitution for Dortmund: Youssoufa Moukoko comes on for Erling Haaland! The Cameroon-born youngster becomes the youngest ever Bundesliga player at just 16 years and one day old! He has broken the record held by Nuri Sahin, who made his debut for Dortmund at the tender age of 16 years and 11 months!
* 80' Goal for Dortmund! Erling Haaland is unstoppable, as he takes a pass and skips between two Hertha defenders and finishes beatifully. His first four-goal game in the Bundesliga!
* 79' Goal for Hertha Berlin! Matteus Cunya scores from the spot
* 70' Goal for Dortmund! It's Raphael Guerreiro with his first goal of the season. Under pressure from a Hertha defender, he failed to cleanly control a pass across the area, but if fell to him and he whacked it in while sitting on his backside. Surely there is no way back for Bruno Labbadia's men now!
* 67' Jude Bellingham breaks through on the Hertha goal but Alexander Schwolow gets to it first. Dortmund are now looking in complete control.
* 62' Goal for Dortmund! He's got the hat trick! Erling Haaland does it again, his 9th of the season!
* 62 Substituion for Dortmund: Bellingham comes on for Dahoud.
* 60' Dortmund are very much in control as we hit the hour mark, although Hertha haven't given up by any means.
* 49' Goal for Dortmund! It's Haaland again! Inside of five minutes into the second half, BVB are on top.
* 47' Goal for Dortmund! Who else could it be but Erling Haaland? The Norwegen recieves a ball played across the area just outside the 5-meter box and puts it into the open goal.
*46' We're back underway in Berlin! No changes at the half.
Halftime Dortmund are clearly the stronger team, but Hertha got a fantastic goal to take the lead. . Back after the break.
* 45+1 Dortmund finally truly break through, Guerreiro could have shot, but instead played a short ball to Haaland, who looked surprised that his teammate didn't take the shot. The Norwegian fails to control it in time and Dortmund just wasted their best chance of the half. Could this come back to haunt them?
* 45' The fourth official indicates there will be one minute of time added on.
* 40' Since the goal, Dortmund have been dominant, but Hertha defenders have repeatedly blocked what could have been a key pass.
* 37' Haaland goes down in the Herha area and BVB want a penalty! The ref is having none of it and the VAR in Cologne remains stumm.
* 33' Goal for Hertha! What a shot from outside the Dortmund area by Matheus Cunha that curled inside the post to Bürki's left! You could argue this came slightly against the flow of play.
* 32' Another free kick for Dortmund. This time Reus takes it - and curls it into the 6-yard box. Witsel just can't make contact at the far post.
* 29' Free kick for Dortmund. Guerreiro takes it but slams it into the Hertha wall.
* 27' Vladimir Darida makes a run but his long effort is no problem for Roman Bürki, the man between the sticks for BVB.
* 22' Hertha win a corner, but they make absolutely nothing of it. It is an indication, though, that Bruno Labbadia's men are determined to play football and not just sit back.
* 17' First decent chance of the match, Haaland takes a pass on the edge of the Hertha box but his shot is blocked by a defender. Reus gets the rebound but the keeper blocks it.
* 11' But Hertha do nothing with the resulting free kick outside of Dortmund's area!
* 10' first yellow card of the match for Guerreiro for a clumsy tackle on Lukebakio.
* 8' Lukebakio makes a run through the middle of the park but his effort from well out sails over the bar.
* 5' As expected, the visitors are trying to attack right from the start, but no clear-cut chance yet as the two teams feel each other out a bit.
* 1' And we're underway at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin!
* 7:30 p.m. (local) - Welcome to DW Sports' live blog! We are just an hour from the opening kickoff and the starting 11 is out for the hosts:
and the visitors:
The question on everyone's mind is: Will he or won't he? Will Lucien Favre bring on Youssoufa Moukoko, who turned 16 - making him eligible to play in the Bundesliga - yesterday. He is on the bench, so it could happen!
Despite all their recent struggles, Hertha have been a thorn in Dortmund's side. The Black and Yellows have won each of the last three meetings, but by narrow one-goal margins.
That said, Hertha coach Bruno Labbadia has not had recent success. He has not celebrated a victory over BVB since November 2015, with his sides failing to score in each of Labbadia's last four games against Dortmund.
The 16-year-old is already a household name due to his ridiculous goal scoring totals in Dortmund's academy teams.
He has scored 13 goals in just four games for BVB's under-19 team, giving him 141 goals in 88 games at the U17 and U19 level.
Moukoko is now eligible to play in the Bundesliga, many will be watching in anticipation of the teenager's potential professional debut.
If Moukoko does make his debut, he would be the youngest player to make an appearance in a Bundesliga game.
That honor is currently held by Nuri Sahin, who made his debut for Dortmund at the tender age of 16 years and 11 months.
The reason this record-breaking feat is possible is because Dortmund requested the DFL ― which operates Germany's top two divisions ― to reduce the minimum age for first-team players. The DFL obliged, lowering the age from 16 and a half to 16.
"He is very, very good ... It's fun to train with him.
"He knows where the goal is, so his age is absolutely irrelevant. Whether you are 16 or 35 — if you can score goals, then there is a place for you."
Though Hertha have underwhelmed to start the season, Matheus Cunha has not. The 21-year-old has scored four goals and assisted two in seven Bundesliga games this season.
He's the most active player for Hertha in the final third with 3.3 shots per game. His scoring prowess will be tested against Dortmund, who, along with Wolfsburg, has the second best goals against record in the German top-flight.
Hertha: Schwolow — Stark, Boyata, Alderete — Pekarik, Darida, Guendouzi, Plattenhardt — Lukebakio, Piatek, Cunha
Dortmund: Bürki — Meunier, Akanji, Hummels, Guerreiro — Witsel, Bellingham — Sancho, Reus, Reyna — Haaland