Robert Lewandowski struck a hat trick on Friday as Borussia Dortmund thumped VFB Stuttgart, 6-1, in their Bundesliga clash at the Westfalenstadion. The match served as the ideal tune-up for Dortmund as they prepare to host Premier League leaders Arsenal in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Belying the one-sided nature of what was to come, it was Stuttgart who got on the scoreboard first in the 13th minute, with a header from Karim Haggui off a set piece. The Tunisian defender bounced the header beyond the leap of midfielder Nuri Sahin, who was on the goal line. It was Haggui’s first ever goal for Stuttgart since arriving from Hannover in the summer.
The lead would not last for long, as Dortmund would go on a rampage that would begin in the 19th minute. From a corner, center back Sokratis Papastathopoulos headed the ball beyond the reach of Sven Ulreich.
The Stuttgart goalkeeper would be subjected to more of Dortmund’s aggressive attack three minutes later when Marco Reus gave Dortmund the lead. The attacking midfielder broke free from defenders on the left to deliver a low left-footed strike into the far corner.
From there, it was all Lewandowski. The Polish star would score three second-half goals, and assist on another. The first came in the 54th minute when Reus found Lewandowski with a clever back-heel in the penalty box, and the 25-year-old delivered from close range.
Two minutes later, Dortmund would extend their lead to 4-1 when Lewandowski accepted a superb long pass from Henrikh Mkhitaryan into the box to knock in a left-footed shot beyond a hapless Ulreich.
Lewandowski’s final goal began with the intention to assist fellow-Pole Jakub Blaszczykowski. But the midfielder’s shot hit the crossbar after Ulreich got his hand on it, and Lewandowski was there to take the ricochet and volley the ball into the back of the net to complete his hat-trick and take his season’s tally to 13.
The final goal came courtesy of substitute Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, after Lewandowksi switched the ball from the left side to find the Gabon international in the box. Aubameyang’s effort was heading across goal but took a deflection off midfielder Moritz Leitner and lobbed over Ulreich to complete the rout in the 81st minute.
The final result could help build momentum for Jurgen Klopp’s side as they prepare to take on Arsenal in Group F of Champions League. Last year’s finalists defeated the London club at the Emirates Stadium last week.
The win also took Dortmund to the top of the Bundesliga, two points clear of Bayern Munich and three ahead of Bayer Leverkusen, although having now played one game more. Stuttgart remain wedged in midtable, occupying ninth place.
An IB Times staff reporter contributed to this report.
Sports reporter, mainly focusing on my native sport of soccer, but also dabbling in some tennis and Formula One.