Andre Schurrle’s late strike secured Borussia Dortmund a dramatic 3-2 win at Cologne on Friday, with the Germany international bailing out two Roman Burki errors to cap off a two-goal debut from Michy Batshuayi.
Cologne had seemingly rescued a point after twice battling back from a goal down, but Schurrle struck six minutes from time to finally end their resistance after Batshuayi proved something of a point to parent club Chelsea with a brace on an impressive first Bundesliga start.
Batshuayi had been billed as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s replacement following his move to Arsenal and wasted no time in endearing himself to Dortmund fans, showing good awareness to wait for a cut-back before firing a strong left-footed effort into the net with 35 minutes played.
He was guilty of a poor miss early in the second half, however, wasting the opportunity to put Dortmund in complete control and Simon Zoller capitalised on a Burki mistake to punish them with an equaliser after an hour.
Batshuayi swiftly made amends, producing a neat finish to double his tally and seemingly put Dortmund in control, yet Cologne fought back for a second time through Spanish defender Jorge Mere, with Burki arguably at fault again.
But Dortmund managed to avoid succumbing to a fourth successive draw, as Schurrle scored his first Bundesliga goal since March in style towards the end, giving coach Peter Stoger reason to celebrate upon a first return to his former club.
The first chance of an action-packed game fell to Milos Jojic in the 13th minute, but the unmarked former Dortmund man shot at Burki from the centre of the area following Christian Clemens’ cut-back.
Dortmund threatened to capitalise on that let-off almost straight away.
Mahmoud Dahoud wanted a penalty after he appeared to be tripped inside the area, though he still managed to pick out Shinji Kagawa, whose fierce left-footed strike struck the crossbar.
Dortmund were not to be denied 10 minutes before the break, however.
Jeremy Toljan did brilliantly on the left, getting to the byline and dragging a pass back towards the penalty spot for Batshuayi, who punished slack defending by rifling emphatically past Timo Horn.
The Belgian had the ball in the net again on the stroke of half-time, but it was correctly ruled out for offside.
Cologne’s need to push forward left them exposed at times and Batshuayi should have punished them in the 56th minute, latching on to Schurrle’s pass and shooting at Horn.
And Zoller levelled soon after, nodding in from close range after Burki parried a shot right to him.
Batshuayi restored the lead just after the hour – producing a delicate finish to beat Horn after Pulisic’s well-placed pass.
But back came Cologne, as Mere headed in his first Bundesliga goal, making the most of Burki’s feeble attempt to punch a corner clear.
Dortmund ultimately had the last laugh and secured all three points in the 84th minute, as Schurrle smashed home in powerful fashion from the edge of the box to round off a fine break and move Stoger’s men up to second, at least until Saturday.
Key Opta stats:
– Dortmund remain unbeaten in six Bundesliga games under new manager Peter Stoger (three wins, three draws). Former manager Peter Bosz had not won any of his last eight BL games with the club (three draws, five losses).
– Stoger won three points on his visit to his former club – in Stoger’s 14 games as Cologne manager earlier this season, he had won a total of three points (three draws, 11 losses).
– Dortmund new signing Michy Batshuayi became – only two days after signing on loan – the first BL player since Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to score more than once on his debut in the German top flight (Aubameyang scored a hat-trick on his debut in August 2013).
– Batshuayi’s first goal was the 500th goal this season in the Bundesliga.
– Cologne’s Jorge Mere scored his first BL goal, in his 10th appearance – the Spaniard scored with his first shot in the German top flight.