Borussia Dortmund vs. Wolfsburg: Winners and Losers from Bundesliga

Lars Pollmann@@LarsPollmannFeatured ColumnistApril 30, 2016

Borussia Dortmund vs. Wolfsburg: Winners and Losers from Bundesliga

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    SASCHA SCHURMANN/Getty Images

    Borussia Dortmund battered Wolfsburg on Matchday 32 of the 2015/16 Bundesliga season on Saturday, winning 5-1 at home in Signal Iduna Park.

    The hosts started with team captain Mats Hummels in the XI after announcing on Thursday that the 27-year-old has requested a transfer to Bayern Munich in the summer. Some of the fans greeted the Germany international with boos and whistles throughout the game.

    The Black and Yellows fired on all cylinders right from the first kick of the match, going ahead by two goals within the first 10 minutes of the game through Shinji Kagawa and Adrian Ramos.

    Wolfsburg reacted pretty well to going down and had a number of chances, most notably Daniel Caligiuri hit the bar. Hummels' deflected the Italian's shot with an important block.

    Dortmund picked up the tempo again in the second period, with Marco Reus adding the third goal after 59 minutes. This time, Wolfsburg didn't react at all, rather letting Dortmund run right over them. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who replaced Ramos midway through the second half, bagged a brace in the 77th and 78th minute.

    Andre Schurrle got one back for the Wolves four minutes from time, but it was hardly any consolation. Because of other results around the Bundesliga—Schalke won 3-1 at Hannover and Mainz drew 0-0 with Hamburg—Wolfsburg cannot finish the season in a European spot.

    As for Dortmund, their minimal title chance stays alive, after Bayern drew 1-1 against Borussia Monchengladbach. Since the Bavarians play their final game at home against already-relegated Hannover, however, no one will get their hopes up.

    Here, Bleacher Report picks the winners and losers from this one-sided affair.

Winner: Shinji Kagawa

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    SASCHA SCHURMANN/Getty Images

    Dortmund have been in stunning form in recent weeks—apart from the last-minute heartbreak in the UEFA Europa League against Liverpool—and have beaten Hamburg, Hertha BSC, Stuttgart and now Wolfsburg by a combined scoreline of 14-1 since that fateful game. No one embodies the Black and Yellows' run of form better than Shinji Kagawa.

    The Japanese playmaker had a hand in six goals in his last six Bundesliga matches, per Spox.com's Jochen Tittmar (link in German), including both a goal and an assist against Wolfsburg.

    He opened the scoring with a first-time shot that required a quick reaction after a Henrikh Mkhitaryan mishit fell to him in the box in the seventh minute and released Ramos with a lovely pass for the second goal two minutes later.

    The Wolves are among the 27-year-old's favourite victims, with Kagawa now having been involved in seven goals in six Bundesliga games against Wolfsburg for BVB, per Opta.

Loser: Dieter Hecking

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    Martin Meissner/Associated Press

    Wolfsburg's performance can be summed up in one word: pathetic.

    Apart from goalkeeper Diego Benaglio, who kept the game relatively close despite the 5-1 scoreline suggesting otherwise, not one player should be able to look into a mirror after an embarrassing outing at Dortmund.

    It can't be a good sign for head coach Dieter Hecking, who could well be fighting for his job in the last few weeks of an utterly disappointing campaign. The 51-year-old didn't pull his punches after the game, saying in his press conference, per Ruhr Nachrichten (link in German) that the squad isn't as good as people make it out to be and that the Wolves should have more points than they do.

    Seeing as Wolfsburg, last season's runners-up in the league and DFB-Pokal winners, are now officially the Bundesliga's worst team away from home after Frankfurt won at Darmstadt on Saturday, Hecking should perhaps start with his own performance this season.

Winner: Adrian Ramos

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    VI-Images/Getty Images

    Adrian Ramos continued his strong run of form and showed his good touch in front of goal against Wolfsburg: The Colombian has now scored seven goals in the "Ruckrunde," as the second half of the season is called in Germany.

    The 30-year-old has made the most of his opportunities in recent weeks and months, showing he's a capable back-up to Aubameyang, who has run a bit hot-and-cold since the turn of the year. "Talk about the benefits of a change of attitude" tweeted Deutsche Welle's Jonathan Harding, alluding to Ramos' newfound confidence.

    The Colombia international received a well-deserved standing ovation when he left the pitch for Aubameyang and has to be considered one of the most improved players of the season at this point.

Loser: Parts of Dortmund's Fans

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    This fan simply asks "Why?" but others went far beyond that.
    This fan simply asks "Why?" but others went far beyond that.SASCHA SCHUERMANN/Getty Images

    As expected, many supporters didn't take too kindly to Hummels' starting a game shortly after announcing his desire to move away from the club. A chorus of boos and whistles rained down on the team captain whenever he touched the ball, especially in the first half.

    There's nothing wrong with making your feelings known, of course. Head coach Thomas Tuchel said as much before the game, jokingly telling German broadcaster Sky that Hummels could've had it another way.

    However, after the game, boos and whistles turned into profanities from a small group of supporters, and that's where a line has to be drawn. Tuchel did just that after the game, per YellowWallPod.com's Luca Gierl: "Tuchel says there's a difference in quality between whistles and abusive chants. Says the chants towards Hummels went way too far."

Winner: Henrikh Mkhitaryan

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    Martin Meissner/Associated Press

    Much like the previous matchday, when Mkhitaryan had a hand in all three goals, the Armenian was again the focal point of Dortmund's play against Wolfsburg. His assist for Kagawa might have been inadvertent, but other than that, the 27-year-old was flawless.

    Skipping past defenders with ease, dishing out nutmegs left, right and centre, Mkhitaryan was once again a delight to watch. Per WhoScored.com, he led the team in both shots and key passes, with five and four apiece, indicating how lively he was throughout the game even though he didn't find the net himself.

    It's par for the course for Mkhitaryan this season, as football writer Lewis Ambrose pointed out after the game: He "now has 23 goals and 32 assists (per Transfermarkt) in 50 games this season. A goal/assist every 76 minutes."

    Lars Pollmann is a Featured Columnist writing on Borussia Dortmund. He also writes for YellowWallPod.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

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