Stuttgarter Kickers vs. Borussia Dortmund: Winners and Losers from DFB Pokal
Borussia Dortmund continued their great start to the new season with yet another win on Saturday afternoon when they overcame Stuttgarter Kickers in the DFB Pokal Cup 4-1.
Although the Bundesliga season doesn't start till next week, Jurgen Klopp's team have already hit the ground running with their second consecutive win, this time against the lower league side from Stuttgart.
This was an emphatic win that'll undoubtedly please Dortmund fans, but let's take a look and see who the real winners and losers of the day were.
Winner: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
For quite some time now, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been considered as something of a bit-part player in the Dortmund line-up by fans and critics alike.
Yet following an impressive goal against Bayern Munich on Wednesday, the Gabon striker has decided to continue his rare run of form with another two goals against Stuttgarter.
With Robert Lewandowski now no longer around to knock in the goals, a large position in the squad has opened up and now offers itself as a fantastic opportunity for this pacey striker. Can he be Dortmund's new goal machine? Who knows. But he's certainly making all the right moves to ensure it.
Loser: Ciro Immobile
Although such a game against Stuttgarter was never considered a hugely important match that demanded a Dortmund first team full of stars, there must have been some disappointment in Ciro Immobile's mind when he found out he wouldn't feature.
Plenty is expected of the Italian striker, and one of the best ways to integrate him into the German game would have been to allow him to play in this bounce match of sorts and grab a few goals. This would have undoubtedly put his mind at ease before the return of the league campaign.
Instead, we saw fellow strikers Aubameyang and Adrian Ramos score on the day, which allowed them to put a little distance between their and Immobile's claim to be the star striker for Klopp's side.
Winner: Marco Reus
To the surprise and absolute delight of Dortmund fans across the world, Klopp announced his squad on Saturday with Marco Reus in a starting position.
With an injury that most considered severe enough to keep him out of action for the first few weeks of the league campaign, Reus' early return a whole week before the Bundesliga's first game has undoubtedly been greeted as a huge boost.
Although the striker was taken off halfway through the second half, we should now expect to see him feature heavily in Dortmund's game against Bayer Leverkusen.
Losers: Dortmund's Opponents
First of all, we have to get something perfectly clear: This was an incredibly easy game for Dortmund to win. Without being too disrespectful to Stuttgarter, the gulf in quality between their own levels and that of a makeshift Dortmund side was clear to see, and this match was only going to go one way.
Having said that, this is now the second game that Dortmund have won at a canter—the first coming against none other than Bayern earlier in the week—before the new title race has already begun.
Unlike the tired, broken Dortmund that slumped to a second-place finish last season, this side looks hungry and ready for anyone who gets in their way. Watch out Bayern, Wolfsburg, Schalke and Leverkusen—Dortmund are coming.
Winners: Dortmund's Hunt for Silverware
A few days ago, we explored the possibility of this Dortmund team going all the way and picking up some serious silverware in this coming Bundesliga and Champions League season.
A few suggested that they already had—comically alluding to the German Super Cup as a worthwhile trophy that'll keep Klopp and his players safe from any restless nights—yet there is something to the victorious manner in which they've started this season.
In just two days, Reus & Co. have offered plenty of food for thought for Pep Guardiola to mull over, and they have progressed to the next stage in Germany's top knockout competition. We are still in the early days, but Klopp has already made his intentions clear: Dortmund are desperate for success this year.