Thomas Tuchel heaped praise on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after the “irreplaceable” forward’s hat-trick set up a 3-1 Europa League victory over Qabala.
The in-form Gabon international made it 17 goals in 16 appearances this season as Dortmund seized control of Group C.
And Tuchel, whose side suffered a chastening 5-1 Bundesliga loss to rivals Bayern Munich this month, was delighted with the 26-year-old’s display in Azerbaijan.
“Auba paved the way for victory with the first and second goals,” he said. “Then he added another in the second half to wrap up a certain victory for us.
“He could have perhaps scored a fourth or a fifth goal and the way he conducts himself on the pitch is absolutely exemplary. We can only hope that all of the others follow his lead.
“It was noticeable that Miki [Henrikh Mkhitaryan] wasn’t there, he shows this real hunger for goals too.
“We are capable of scoring goals from different positions. Luckily Auba was there for us. He’s irreplaceable for us when he’s on this form.”
Despite the victory, Tuchel was less than impressed with the start Dortmund made as it took them more than half an hour to break the deadlock.
“The chances they had were of our own doing, we were missing the necessary focus and venom in our challenges,” he added.
“We defended poorly in all areas, both in the switch play of our offensive ranks and the challenges themselves.
“We were fortunate not to fall behind. That would have made the task even more difficult than it already was.”
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