Borussia Dortmund made light work in the end of underdogs 1. FC Magdeburg to progress in the DFB-Pokal.
After a difficult first half, the holders led at half-time after Gonzalo Castro scored less than a minute after coming off the bench.
They took control of proceedings thereafter, with goals after the break coming from Alexander Isak, Andriy Yarmolenko, Marc Bartra and finally Shinji Kagawa.
Castro lifts Dortmund with immediate contribution
Both sides made plenty of changes from league disappointments at the weekend. Magdeburg changed five after losing to SpVgg Unterhaching, including handing a debut to 22-year-old goalkeeper Alexander Brunst. Dortmund rotated seven from the draw at Eintracht Frankfurt, and they handed a first start to Isak, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang left out of the squad.
The holders were clearly the favourites here, despite Magdeburg flying high in the 3. Liga, and they almost got off to a flyer. A ball from makeshift right-back Bartra found Maximillian Philipp, who smashes it into the post before Isak had a chance from the rebound, but that was then saved by Brunst.
That wasn’t a sign of things to come though, as Dortmund struggled to dominate their lower-league hosts. In a relatively rare sight of goal, Yarmolenko caught Michel Niemeyer wrong-footed in the box, before seeing his shot saved by Brunst, whilst Philipp had muted appeals for a penalty, but generally their attacking play was looking cumbersome, the absence of the rested Aubameyang showing.
Magdeburg weren’t afraid to go forward when given the opportunity. Dennis Erdmann had a shot go wide, whilst another from Philip Türpitz was saved by Roman Bürki, but not before the out-of-sorts keeper almost let the ball slip through his fingers.
Towards the end of the half Dortmund lost Mahmoud Dahoud to a concern neck injury, which saw him taken to hospital, with his replacement Castro have an immediate impact. Isak did his bit to head down a Yarmolenko cross, with the newly-introduced midfielder given all the space he needed to score, 30 seconds after coming on.
Dortmund move through the gears
The timing couldn’t be better for Dortmund, with Magdeburg in sight of going in at the break all square. They were even further behind soon into the second half as well. Bürki punched clear a Magdeburg to Castro to initiate a counter attack. Isak did his part to keep it going in the middle, and eventually got the ball inside the box, nutmegging the keeper to make it 2-0 and score his first goal for the club.
With the scoreline now a lot more comfortable, Dortmund’s play reflected that. Even if they weren’t having many opportunities on goal, they controlled possession and rarely let Magdeburg have a sniff. They were also able to give Raphaël Guerreiro his first football of the season, and André Schürrle also came off the bench for his first appearances since the first round victory over 1.FC Rielasingen-Arlen.
It fact it was a cross from Guerreiro that would then earn Dortmund a penalty, after it hit the hand of Steffen Schäfer. Yarmolenko scored at the left-hand post from the spot, although Brunst did get a hand to a penalty.
All of the fight had been sapped out of the one-time UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup winners, and five minutes later, Bartra made it four. Following a corner, Kagawa crossed into the box, and Bartra headed home to add further gloss to the score.
With the last kick of the game, Kagawa completed the rout. There was good interplay between him and Philipp, with the Japanese playmaker finishing the move after beating off a couple of defenders. After a slow start, Dortmund had moved through the gears for what ended up a more comfortable win then it looked like being for the first 40 minutes.