Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s hat-trick inspired Borussia Dortmund to a 5-1 win over Augsburg on Sunday, closing the gap on leaders Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga to seven points.
Aubameyang, fresh from netting a treble in the Europa League win over Qabala on Thursday, gave the hosts the lead when he tapped home in the 18th minute, before a first-half brace from Marco Reus put Dortmund out of sight.
Reus was on hand to prod home Shinji Kagawa’s fizzed cross in the 21st minute, before being set up by the Japanese international again to slot home just after the 30-minute mark.
Raul Bobadilla’s header after the break gave the visitors hope, but there was no way back for the strugglers, as Aubameyang slid in to notch his second goal late on before completing his second hat-trick in four days with a composed finish in stoppage time.
The result stretches Dortmund’s unbeaten home run to 13 games in all competitions and will give head coach Thomas Tuchel hope in the unenviable task of catching Bayern.
Augsburg, who earned an unlikely 1-0 win at Signal Iduna Park last season, remain rooted to the bottom of the table amid their worst-ever start to a Bundesliga season.
Aubameyang set the tone for this clash inside two minutes, with only a crucial intervention from Ragnar Klavan preventing the Gabon international sweeping home Gonzalo Castro’s low cross.
Augsburg continued to find themselves on the back foot in the opening exchanges as Matthias Ginter headed wide, before Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Burki gathered from Koo Ja-Cheol’s firm header in a rare Augsburg attack.
But the otherwise dominant hosts were not to be denied and took the lead on 18 minutes.
A fine team move down the right allowed Ilkay Gundogan to lose his man and square to Aubameyang, who made no mistake from six yards out.
The visitors barely had time to regroup before Reus extended the lead two minutes later, prodding home Shinji Kagawa’s drilled cross in a rampant first-half performance.
Gundogan stung the palms of goalkeeper Marwin Hitz with 25-yard drive, before Reus doubled his tally by slotting home on 33 minutes following Kagawa’s wonderful backheel inside the area.
Bobadilla managed to reduce the arrears four minutes into the second term with a looping header from Tobias Werner’s whipped free-kick to offer slim hopes of a comeback, while Kagawa blazed over from 25 yards at the other end just before the hour.
Argentine Bobadilla might have had a second 10 minutes later, but could only scuff wide after Mats Hummels’ clearance bobbled off Marcel Schmelzer inside the area.
Aubamayang forced Hitz into a smart save with a crashing drive from the edge of the area 10 minutes from time, but was not to be denied, sliding in to meet substitute Adrian Ramos’ delivery across goal, before completing an impressive hat-trick by slotting home a composed finish in added time.