BERLIN — Borussia Dortmund warmed up for Real Madrid in the Champions League by routing Borussia Moenchengladbach 6-1 to match its best ever start to the Bundesliga on Saturday.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a hat trick and the brilliant Maximilian Philipp scored twice as Dortmund made it five wins and a draw, equaling its 2015 start, while also stretching its unbeaten run at home to 41 games.
Dortmund perfectionists will rue the first goal conceded in six league games after Lars Stindl pulled one back for the shocked visitors.
Otherwise it was a complete performance – Aubameyang also hit the post three times and ‘Gladbach goalkeeper Tobias Sippel was at his best to prevent Dortmund scoring more – and Madrid will be wary ahead of its visit on Tuesday.
“The players are fresh and we’re playing good football. Real is another level,” Dortmund coach Peter Bosz said when asked if his side could repeat the performance against Madrid.
Aubameyang wrapped up his hat trick with half an hour remaining, then Stindl put the only blot on Dortmund’s performance and left goalkeeper Roman Buerki shaking his head on his 100th Bundesliga appearance. Buerki had gone 515 minutes without conceding.
In a duel between the youngest ever Bundesliga coaches, 30-year-old Julian Nagelsmann’s Hoffenheim defeated 32-year-old Domenico Tedesco’s Schalke 2-0.
Both earned their coaching badges together, though Nagelsmann got a head start in February 2016 when he was appointed in place of the ailing Huub Stevens with Hoffenheim in relegation trouble. Nagelsmann saved the team in his first season and led it to the Champions League playoffs in the next.
Schalke fans hope Tedesco, who took over in the offseason after just 11 games in charge of second-tier Erzgebirge Aue, can match his former classmate’s feats.
Dennis Geiger’s first Bundesliga goal gave Hoffenheim an early lead, but the visitors improved as the game progressed and might have equalized after the break when Yevhen Konoplyanka struck the crossbar.
Konoplyanka was just wide before Mark Uth struck the post at the other end.
Uth, who had a late goal ruled out for offside, launched the ball forward for Lukas Rupp to score in the third minute of injury time.
Nagelsmann’s side remains one of three unbeaten teams in the Bundesliga.
LEIPZIG HOLDS ON
Leipzig prepared for its Champions League game at Besiktas with a hard-fought 2-1 home win over Eintracht Frankfurt.
Timo Werner set up new signing Jean-Kevin Augustin to score his second goal since arriving from Paris Saint-Germain and then scored midway through the second half, turning brilliantly and firing inside the far post.
Ante Rebic pulled one back for a nervy finale. The visitors were unlucky not to equalize when Simon Falette hit the post and the rebound came back off Leipzig ‘keeper Peter Gulacsi’s back before rolling out of play.
Suspended Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita watched his side in an eye-catching dinner jacket with a red top hat.
INSULT TO INJURY
Hertha Berlin captain Vedad Ibisevic was sent off with a straight red card in the last minute of his side’s 1-0 defeat in Mainz for what referee Tobias Stieler said was an insult directed against him. But the Bosnian insisted he said nothing untoward to the referee and is calling for a lip-reader to prove it.
“I know what I heard,” Stieler contended.
Pablo De Blasis’s penalty was enough for the home side.
In other games, Werder Bremen drew against Freiburg 0-0, and Stuttgart was also held to a homeless draw against Augsburg.
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