Ranking the Top 5 Goals of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's Borussia Dortmund Career

Lars Pollmann@@LarsPollmannFeatured ColumnistDecember 19, 2016

MADRID, SPAIN - DECEMBER 07: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Borussia Dortmund celebrates after the final whistle during the UEFA Champions League Group F match between Real Madrid CF and Borussia Dortmund at the Bernabeu on December 7, 2016 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Almost lost in the shuffle of Borussia Dortmund's hectic 2-2 draw with TSG 1899 Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga on Friday was a major individual milestone for one of the team's most consistent players of the last few years.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored his 100th goal for the club, an impressive achievement considering he has done it in only 164 matches across all competitions since moving to the Ruhr valley from French side AS Saint-Etienne in the summer of 2013.

As a comparison, the great Robert Lewandowski scored a grand total of 103 goals for Dortmund but played in 187 matches for the Black and Yellows. The Pole scored roughly every 140 minutes of play, whereas the Gabon international needs only about 122 minutes per goal.

Bleacher Report discussed Aubameyang's place among Dortmund's all-time greats at the striker position in an earlier piece. That he gets mentioned in that elite group of players is largely down to his explosion under head coach Thomas Tuchel. Aubameyang has scored 59 of his 100 goals in the one-and-a-half years under the 43-year-old.

His evolution from winger to central striker already started towards the end of Jurgen Klopp's tenure at the Westfalenstadion, but it was only under Tuchel that the 27-year-old turned into one of the deadliest strikers on the planet.

Ted Knutson highlighted the changes in the Gabonese's play for StatsBomb.com and, if one were to break it down to one key factor, that would be shot locations. Aubameyang has scored all but a handful of his 59 goals across all competitions over the last 18 months from inside the penalty box, as he is getting on the end of attacking moves, often allowing him to finish with only one or two contacts.

He makes scoring look easy because, at times, it really is. However, he is more than a poacher and is perfectly capable of creating goals for himself, both with his devilish pace and with a strong sense of time and space on the pitch.

To celebrate his 100th goal for the club, B/R ranks his top five goals for Dortmund.

                                     

No. 5: November 26, 2013 vs. Napoli

A goal that showcased how dangerous a player he is even when deployed on the wing, Aubameyang used his freakish athleticism for this strike in the Champions League against Napoli.

Catching up with Lewandowski in a transitional attack, the Gabon international left his marker in the dust. Centre-back Raul Albiol had the impossible decision to either leave Lewandowski with a fairly open run on goal or to cover the passing lane towards Aubameyang.

The Spaniard chose the former, allowing Lewandowski to play a simple ball to his right. Aubameyang still had a lot to do against Pepe Reina, who came rushing out of his goal to tighten the angle on the finish.

Using a lobbed shot that would become a bit of a trademark for Aubameyang, he beat the experienced goalkeeper to seal a 3-1 win for Dortmund.

 

No. 4: November 30, 2013 vs. FSV Mainz 05

Aubameyang's 10th goal for the club, his direct free-kick against Mainz gave Dortmund the lead in a Bundesliga match that, on the balance of play, the underdogs had dominated to that point.

Fans probably remember the game better for the three penalties—Lewandowski scored two for the Black and Yellows—that followed Aubameyang's opener, but his incredible hit from distance deserved recognition.

He used the perfect technique to give the ball enough wobble to float past Loris Karius in Mainz's goal, hitting it with the side of his boot. That it still had enough pace to find the net shows just how nicely Aubameyang hit the sweet spot.

He has been chasing his second free-kick goal ever since, trying and failing with the same technique, which shows just how special it was.

                           

No. 3: April 14, 2016 vs. Liverpool                         

Dortmund fans wish they could forget what happened at Anfield on April 14, as the stunning collapse against Liverpool in the Europa League will forever be remembered as one of the most disappointing nights in club history.

It all started so well for the Black and Yellows, who took what should have been a commanding two-goal lead thanks to a thump from Aubameyang after just nine minutes.

Stealing away from Mamadou Sakho with an evading movement to the right flank, Dortmund's No. 17 sprinted into the box like a falcon swooping on its prey. Hammering his shot home with authority, Aubameyang again proved he can be an absolute force of nature.

                             

No. 2: March 17, 2016 vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Aubameyang scored three of Dortmund's five goals as they made light work of Spurs in the round of 16 in the Europa League last season, but his incredible effort from distance in the return leg at White Hart Lane clearly stands above the rest.

There seemed to be nothing in it when he picked up a loose ball some 25 yards from goal. However, a striker such as Aubameyang has a natural feel for every situation in the general vicinity of the opponent's goal and, here, he must have caught a glimpse of Hugo Lloris standing a few inches too far from his line.

Aubameyang took a quick glance, sized up his shot and let fly. Hitting it with excellent swerve and enough power, he left Lloris no chance and scored an absolute beauty, arguably his prettiest goal from distance.

It was a bittersweet goal for the Gabonese. Via Instagram, he dedicated his double on the night to his grandfather, who had died in the same week.

                               

No. 1: November 29, 2015 vs. VfB Stuttgart

As mentioned above, lobbing the keeper has become a trademark finish for Aubameyang, so it is only natural that his best goal for Dortmund came on such an occasion.

His goal against Stuttgart in the Bundesliga last season perfectly illustrated how the Gabonese had developed into one of world football's deadliest attackers under Tuchel. 

Sven Bender drove a ball through the lines into Gonzalo Castro, who had the presence of mind and technical abilities to flick it towards his striker with his heel. As so often happens, Aubameyang was played into a perfect position by his team-mates, but he was still left with a difficult finish.

He kept his composure, let goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton go to the ground and, with the softest of touches, caressed the ball over the line.

He scored more important goals than the one that doubled the lead in a 4-1 win over a team that would be relegated at the end of the campaign—after all, 28 of his 100 strikes for Dortmund were winning goalsbut none was prettier than this one.

It showed his shooting technique and, more importantly, his everlasting confidence in front of the goal.

Aubameyang has a swagger about him, and it is that lightness to his game that has not only made him one of the best strikers on the planet, but also a fan favouriteeven far beyond the Westfalenstadion faithful.

He is a genuine superstar, and now he's on to the next 100 goals.

                                    

All performance data via Transfermarkt.com.

Lars Pollmann also writes for The Yellow Wall. You can follow him on Twitter.

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