Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel was quick to issue a note of caution, despite his home bow ending in a 5-0 rout of Wolfsberger in the UEFA Europa League.
Goals from Marco Reus and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang provided the platform for a stunning Mkhitaryan hat-trick to cap a thrashing of the Austrians and seal a 6-0 aggregate win to see Dortmund sail into the competition’s play-off round.
However, all of Dortmund’s goals came in the second half after a first period of near misses and poor finishing had set pulses racing at Signal Iduna Park.
Aubameyang especially was guilty of spurning numerous chances throughout and, though pleased with his side’s efforts after the interval, Tuchel was keen to stress the need to strive for better.
“The second half was a good reaction to the first,” Tuchel said. “We played with great tempo, showed good temperament, created many chances and ended with five goals scored.
“I was pleased with the second half, but in the first half we had a lack of positional discipline and could not play our passes.
“In the second 45 minutes we showed great discipline in the spaces in which we want to combine.
“As a consequence we could play much faster passes and play between the lines.”
Mkhitaryan’s treble came within 13 breathless minutes late in the second half, and Tuchel hailed the Armenian as a player he hopes can lead by example.
He added: “Mkhitaryan is an absolute model professional. I’m very glad to have him in this team.
“It’s a great pleasure for me to work with him and to watch him and see how he deals with his talent.”
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