Borussia Dortmund bounced back from two consecutive defeats to claim a 4-1 win over Bundesliga strugglers Stuttgart, as Jurgen Kramny’s tenure as caretaker manager started with a loss.
Stuttgart dispensed with Alexander Zorniger following the 4-0 home defeat to fellow strugglers Augsburg last week, but Kramny saw his team make a bad start when Gonzalo Castro’s first Bundesliga goal for BVB gave the hosts a third-minute lead.
The former Bayer Leverkusen midfielder then played a key part in Dortmund’s second, laying off the ball smartly to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who made no mistake with an expertly dinked-finish.
Aubameyang saw a goal chalked-off as Dortmund began to run riot, though Stuttgart did get themselves back in contention courtesy of Daniel Didavi’s fifth league goal of the season.
Dortmund stamped their authority on proceedings after the restart, and following a disallowed Marco Reus effort, extended their advantage when Georg Niedermeier turned it into his own net, before Aubameyang added gloss to the victory with a 90th-minute strike.
The win is Dortmund’s 10th Bundesliga victory this term, while Stuttgart have now lost their last three league fixtures. Thomas Tuchel’s men remain second, eight points behind leaders Bayern Munich.
Dortmund wasted little time in going ahead, Castro nodding home after latching onto the rebound from Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s shot.
Tuchel had made five changes to the line-up that was beaten by Krasnodar in the Europa League on Thursday, with Mats Hummels the most notable absentee, but he was not missed as his replacement, Sven Bender, made a terrific last-ditch tackle to prevent Timo Werner getting in on goal.
Castro was the architect of Dortmund’s next goal, his clever flick teeing up Aubameyang, who netted his 24th goal of the season with an exquisite chip.
Aubameyang had the ball in the back of the net again shortly after, but the goal was disallowed for offside.
Despite Dortmund’s domination, Stuttgart pulled one back just prior to the interval when, moments after Werner had an effort cleared off the line, Didavi tapped into an empty net after being set up by Filip Kostic.
Dortmund should have re-established their two-goal lead shortly after the restart as Reus fired in a fantastic cross, but Aubameyang could not apply the finish.
Reus thought he had netted himself soon after, but his strike was correctly ruled out for offside, before Castro again combined with Aubameyang – whose driven effort was well saved.
Dortmund’s pressure finally paid dividends with 25 minutes remaining, a combination of Niedermeier and Przemyslaw Tyton deflecting Reus’ strike into the bottom left corner.
And the result was put beyond all doubt late on as Aubameyang raced on to Adrian Ramos’ pass before dispatching the ball superbly past Tyton as Dortmund eased back to winning ways.