Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s 14th goal of the season gave Borussia Dortmund a 3-2 win over bitter rivals Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga’s 87th Ruhr derby on Sunday.
“The win is more than deserved,” said Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc, whose side remained five points behind leaders Bayern Munich. “With 29 points we’d be top of the table in Spain and Italy, but Bayern Munich don’t play there.”
Japan international Shinji Kagawa broke the deadlock in the 30th minute with a header off Dortmund defender Matthias Ginter’s cross.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar equalized three minutes later after Mats Hummels gave the ball away. Leon Goretzka chipped forward for the impressive Leroy Sane, who headed the ball past Sokratis and gave Huntelaar a tap-in.
Ginter restored Dortmund’s lead in the 43rd minute with a header from Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s corner and Aubameyang made it 3-1 in the 48th.
Mkhitaryan sent a loose ball forward and Gonzalo Castro timed his pass perfectly for Aubameyang to score inside the far post.
The Gabon international, who has 22 goals in 20 competitive games for Dortmund this season, celebrated by taking off his jersey to reveal a Batman logo and the words “Do you remember,” referring to the last Ruhr derby where he celebrated scoring with a Batman mask.
Aubameyang was booked for Sunday’s gesture.
Schalke 04 goalkeeper Ralf Faehrmann kept his team in the game with saves from Ilkay Gundogan and Mkhitaryan, before Huntelaar claimed his second with a classy chip in the 70th minute to set up a tense finale.
“You could see we were perhaps lacking a little experience, that we conceded so soon after the break, but we showed great morale to come back,” Schalke coach Andre Breitenreiter said.
Roman Buerki made a fingertip save to push Schalke substitute Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s shot onto the post as the visitors finished strongly.
“We played well, unfortunately lost, but we did all we could,” Huntelaar said.
Tempers became frayed toward the end of the game, before Faehrmann made another huge save to deny Gundogan in stoppage-time.
“It would have been our own fault if we didn’t take all three points,” Ginter said.
Claudio Pizarro’s first goal in his third stint for Werder Bremen helped his side to a 2-1 win at bottom club Augsburg in the late game.
The Peru international struck Santiago Garcia’s cross on the volley to give Marwin Hitz no chance in the 58th minute.
Fin Bartels sealed Bremen’s win with a fine turn and strike in the 69th minute.
Augsburg captain Paul Verhaegh scored a penalty in stoppage-time, but could not prevent his side’s eighth defeat in the Bundesliga this season.
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