Borussia Dortmund certainly weren't at their best this Sunday, however they only needed a few chances to clinically see off Bundesliga strugglers Augsburg.
After their European advantage earlier in the season Augsburg now find themselves fighting to stay in the Bundesliga as they sit just above the relegation play-off spot. This Sunday they have to pull of a memorable victory as they welcomed Borussia Dortmund to town as they looked to keep the title race alive.
Augsburg have found wins hard to come by, in the last four games they've managed three draws and one defeat. The club's last win came against the bottom side Hannover, that crucial win was only their win in the last nine games. As for Dortmund went into the game on the back of a impressive victory over Tottenham in the Europa League and in the league they've gone nine games unbeaten.
Bright start for the hosts Augsburg
In the opening minutes Dortmund looked to quickly counter, however Augsburg were set up well to defend. The home side made a solid start to the game and they managed to create the first chance. Caiuby picked up the ball in midfield and he grabbed a slice of luck when his pass through was blocked straight back to him, the Brazilian then charged forward and his effort was palmed over by Roman Bürki.
Dortmund started the game quite slowly and were still finding their tempo in the game and after sixteen minutes they were forced to quickly find it after going a goal behind. Jeong-Ho Hong played a diagonal ball out to the left for Philipp Max and the left back flew down the left before playing in Caiuby. The Brazilian produced a great cross along the ground to pick out Alfreð Finnbogason for an easy tap in from a couple of yards out.
The goal allowed Augsburg to sit back and invite Dortmund onto them, the home side remained strong at the back and in midfield which frustrated Dortmund as they struggled for ideas.
Augsburg were making the most of their limited possession and six minutes before the break they threatened with a counter attack. Caiuby broke forward and played the ball through to Ja-Cheol Koo, he took the ball forward but his effort was straight at Bürki.
Dortmund managed to carve open the Augsburg defence before the break, an excellent chipped through ball from Henrikh Mkhitaryan to Marco Reus saw the German through on goal, unfortunately for Dortmund Alexander Manninger was very quick off his line to save with his leg.
Right on half time Dortmund scored the much needed equaliser, it was a poor first half performance for the away side but they managed to produce some magic. A great move saw Reus link up with Mkhitaryan, who then played the ball into Nuri Şahin, the Turkish midfielder returned the ball and Mkhitaryan's shot took a deflection which saw Manninger helplessly watch the ball flew into the bottom corner.
BVB wake up to breeze to victory
The second half started very evenly matched and both teams struggled to create any clear cut chances. Just before the hour mark Dortmund came close to taking the lead in very controversial fashion, Paul Verhaegh went down in the Dortmund area and despite calls from both teams to stop play the referee didn't. Mkhitaryan continued and he picked out Adrián Ramos towards the back post, the Colombian however couldn't stretch far enough and put his effort wide.
Despite the lack of goal action in the game it was an interesting battle between the two teams and it was one that was made even more interesting when Dortmund took the lead. Mats Hummels played a brilliant ball over the top, Ramos stayed just onside and held the ball well before laying the ball off to Gonzalo Castro and the substitutes effort took a deflection before heading past Manninger.
Augsburg needed to come out and attack more after going behind and they forced Bürki into shortly after Dortmund's goal. A corner saw Hong find space but sadly for the home side his header was straight at Bürki.
Shortly after that small threat Dortmund made it 3-1, a short corner to Moritz Leitner saw the youngster deliver a great cross from the right, Ramos' header was wonderfully saved by Manninger and disappointingly for the keeper Ramos was there to fire in the rebound.
The game failed to produce any more goal action as Dortmund saw out the last fifteen minutes and Augsburg ran out of energy and ideas to mount some sort of comeback. The win sees Dortmund remain unbeaten in 2016 and they close the gap on Bayern Munich to five points.
Augsburg are in big trouble and need to find something to win games and edge away from the drop, up next for them they have a tough away trip to face Mainz. For Dortmund they welcome Werder Bremen to town as they look to keep the pressure on Bayern.