Haaland scores hat-trick on debut to help Dortmund win
Teenager Erling Haaland scored a sensational hat-trick within 23 minutes of making his Borussia Dortmund debut as he helped his team come from two goals down to secure a 5-3 win over Augsburg on Saturday (Jan 18), as the Bundesliga resumed after the winter break.
The Norwegian’s performance took the spotlight away from RB Leipzig’s 3-1 comeback victory over Union Berlin, with two goals from Timo Werner, that moved them five points clear at the top on 40 points.
Champions Bayern Munich, third on 33, travel to Hertha Berlin on Sunday. Borussia Moenchengladbach are second on 35 after losing 2-0 to Schalke 04 on Friday.
Haaland, who joined only weeks ago from Red Bull Salzburg for a reported 20 million euros (S$29m), scored his first goal with a low drive in the 59th, three minutes after coming on to cut the gap to 3-2.
Augsburg had led 2-0 and 3-1 through a brace from Florian Niederlechner and a goal from Marco Richter after Dortmund had squandered plenty of scoring chances in the first half. Julian Brandt had briefly cut the deficit for Dortmund.
Jadon Sancho drew the hosts level in the 61st and Haaland then tapped in Dortmund’s fourth in the 70th to put them ahead.
The 19-year-old talent sealed their win to live up to heightened expectations and completed his memorable hat-trick in the 79th minute to put fourth-placed Dortmund on 33 points.
“It was a good day, a good debut,” Haaland said. “I am happy. I have good people around me. A fantastic club.”
The powerful forward, an ideal replacement to Paco Alcacer, who is eager to leave, had shot to fame earlier this season when he scored 16 league goals in Austria and eight goals in the Champions League group stages before his move to Germany.
He had also been linked with a number of top European clubs after Salzburg failed to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League, with EPL side Manchester United and Serie A champions Juventus reported to be interested.
“He brought his presence to the game. These deep runs are also one of his strengths,” said Dortmund coach Lucien Favre.
“He did it really well and this is an option for us. We were lacking a bit the ability to go deep.”
Leipzig also had to come from behind after trailing 1-0 to visitors Union and Marius Buelter’s goal on the break.
Werner’s superb volley from the edge of the box in the 51st drew them level and Marcel Sabitzer’s close-range effort put them ahead in the 57th.
Werner then added a second in the 83rd to go top of the scorers’ list with 20 league goals. – REUTERS