Opinion: Michy Batshuayi performance offers Borussia Dortmund hope | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 02.02.2018
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Bundesliga

Opinion: Michy Batshuayi performance offers Borussia Dortmund hope

After a stunning debut, Borussia Dortmund's new star striker has restored hope to a team that looked in danger of drifting towards the end of the season.

Three points, two goals, one assist. Michy Batshuayi's debut for Borussia Dortmund was near perfect.

The Belgian was strong and showed decent understanding with players he had met for the first time just two days before. He kept finding space, kept going for goal, and even slid in to win the ball back. Were it not for one missed chance at 1-0 up and poor marking when his man scored Cologne's second goal from a corner, he would have been faultless.

While the striker's performance was enough to get Borussia Dortmund over the line, it couldn't paper over the cracks this team continues to show. The game was entertaining but Dortmund's passing was sloppy as possession was often given away almost thoughtlessly. Defending from set-pieces proved a problem once again. Collectively, Dortmund looked like the side that limped to draws against Wolfsburg, Hertha Berlin and Freiburg. The same result here would have left Dortmund with four points from a run of fixtures where nine or more was the expectation.

On Matchday 21 though, they had Michy Batshuayi. The 24-year-old whose nickname is "Batsman." After posting on Twitter that he "heard the Batman job was vacant" following Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's departure, the striker certainly answered the call in Cologne.

Unaffected by Dortmund's drama in recent weeks, the number 44 looked keen to impress in a World Cup year and perhaps to prove a point to parent-club Chelsea. Batshuayi was the new face that a faltering BVB needed, the goalscorer many feared the club lacked, and the smile so rarely seen of late on a player wearing black and yellow. Afterwards, he took to social media and showed his comic side. That too bodes well for Dortmund.

Ironically, the last man to score more than one on their Bundesliga debut was Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Batshuayi won't have enough time to match the scoring impact of the man who left as the club's third all-time leading goalscorer, but if this early showing is anything to go by, Dortmund have made the signing of the winter.

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