Kagawa rewarded for blistering form with goal as Dortmund beat Hamburg
DORTMUND, Germany -- Borussia Dortmund kept in touch with third-placed Hoffenheim by defeating Hamburg by 3-0 in the Bundesliga on Tuesday, wasting an enormous amount of chances in the process.
April 4, 2015 marks the last time the Black and Yellows lost a league match at home. A two-year unbeaten run at the Westfalenstadion is certainly impressive. Bouncing back with a win after dropping two points in the 1-1 draw with Schalke was oh so important for Dortmund with a trip to face Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena looming on Saturday.
Borussia Dortmund's defensive stability plummets significantly with the absence of Sokratis Papastathopoulos, who was sitting this one out on a fifth booking. United States international Bobby Wood was the main culprit for not making chances count for the guests. Oh, and Dortmund's finishing was not on point.
Manager rating out of 10
6 -- With Marcel Schmelzer absent, Thomas Tuchel reverted to a back four, which worked in a clean-sheet effort.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Roman Burki, 9 -- Had to save Dortmund's bacon numerous times in the first half, standing tall against Wood and stopping all of the guests' six shots on goal.
DF Lukasz Piszczek, 6 -- Was solid, but not spectacular barring one deep run into enemy territory in the second half.
DF Matthias Ginter, 5 -- Is still not a reliable option at centre-back for the Black and Yellows.
DF Marc Bartra, 6 -- Slipped while trying to clean up Ginter's mess, which painted a perfect picture of Dortmund's struggles at the back.
DF Raphael Guerreiro, 6 -- Was signed as left-back, but is putting in his best performances in midfield. Still has a lot to learn from Schmelzer.
MF Gonzalo Castro, 8 - Struck Dortmund's first goal from outside the box of the season on a lovely direct free kick.
MF Julian Weigl, 8 -- Was substituted off with the Yellow Wall chanting his name. Played one of his better games, putting some vertical edge to his usually crisp passing.
MF Ousmane Dembele, 7 -- Wasn't involved much in the first half, as he was ordered to hug the left touchline. Grew in influence in the second period when he positioned himself more centrally.
MF Shinji Kagawa, 9 -- The video screen in the Westfalenstadion read 68 kilometers per hour after Kagawa tucked away Dortmund's second goal in the 81st minute. At last, the Japan international was rewarded for his blistering form. Returned the favour by assisting Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in stoppage time.
MF Emre Mor, 8 -- Got the nod over Christian Pulisic and justified his start. Was unstoppable when combining with Kagawa.
FW Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 8 -- Has now scored 11 goals in eight games. A very wasteful Aubameyang had to wait until stoppage time to finally put his name on the scoresheet here. He also set up Kagawa nicely for his effort.
MF Christian Pulisic, 6 -- Was brought on after the hour mark and caused Hamburg problems without really troubling them.
DF Felix Passlack, N/R -- Replaced Guerreiro at left-back after the former looked too relaxed in his backtracking.
MF Nuri Sahin, N/R -- Was given a rare appearance in the 78th minute. With him, Dortmund regained some control of the match that was lost around the 70th minute.
Stefan Buczko covers Borussia Dortmund for ESPN FC. Twitter: @StefanBuczko.