Maximillian Philipp scored in the second minute, before a Sokratis goal was controversially allowed after the video assistant overturned a foul initially given on Timo Horn.
Video evidence then gave Dortmund a penalty which was converted by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who scored a second almost straight after. Philipp then completed the rout late on as Dortmund moved back to the top of the table, ahead of Hannover 96.
Sokratis goal controversy but Dortmund firmly in control
Despite both being beaten by teams from North London in midweek, these two have had contrasting fortunes in the league, with Dortmund looking to return top and Köln just hoping for a first point. Both made three changes from the European adventures, with Dortmund recalling Dan-Axel Zagadou, Gonzalo Castro and Philipp, with only six substitutes named as Mario Götze and Jeremy Toljan joined an ever-increasing injury list. Jannes Horn, Marcel Risse and Yuya Osako started for Köln.
Peter Stöger would have wanted his team to keep it tight at the start yet they ended up conceding in just the second minute. Andrey Yarmolenko, making his first Bundesliga start, charged down the right, and although he had to use his weaker right-foot to cross in, he found an onrushing Philipp who nodded on with his head to score his first Dortmund goal.
Köln didn’t wilt and weren’t afraid to try to move the ball about, although a couple of strong Jhon Córdoba runs forward weren’t really enough. Dortmund kept the majority of the possession, with Yarmolenko menacing Horn down Dortmund’s right. Their best chance to double the lead was when Castro laid-off to Aubameyang, however Köln had been the only Bundesliga side he hadn’t scored against and here he put his effort wide.
Otherwise though the visitors defended well to stop Dortmund from having many opportunities, even if they were content to concede three-quarters of the ball. Dortmund at this point were having to test Timo Horn from distance, with Nuri Sahin not far over. They started to get a bit closer to the goal after that, but Yarmolenko missed control a headed attempt and Mahmoud Dahoud hit a weak into the hands of Köln goalkeeper Horn.
Dortmund looked set to go in 1-0 at the break, until some major controversy right at the end. A corner was spilled by horn, with Sokratis poking it in. The referee though blew his whistle to disallow the goal. Then VAR became involved, and showed there was no foul on the keeper, and the goal stood. Köln’s argument was that they had stopped playing when the whistle blew, leading to intense arguments as the players went in for half time, although it seemed the referee blew just before it crossed the line.
Another big VAR call before Dortmund run riot
Aubameyang had a big chance to finally break his duck in the opening seconds, but despite beating Horn with his shot he couldn’t quite curl it the right side of the post. He missed his range with another effort just after, whilst Dahoud came close on a couple of occasions too.
Then came more VAR drama. An excellent Yarmolenko cross found Philipp, whose header was blocked by Lukas Klünter. As Dortmund prepared to take a corner, it became clear the referee was consulting VAR, and he awarded a penalty for handball – with Klünter indeed having blocked the header with an outstretched hand.
Aubameyang sent Horn the wrong way from the penalty shot to finally have his goal against Köln, and within minutes he had a second. Lukasz Piszczek crossed in, and Aubameyang turned it past Horn to make it 4-0.
The floodgates were open and a fifth wouldn’t be too long in coming. It was excellently created by Dahoud, who played a neat ball forward for Philipp to chase on to and place it past Horn to get his second of the game as well.
There was little left for either side to play for in the closing stages. Marcel Risse thought he may as well have a go from some way out, but was never going to test Roman Bürki in Dortmund’s goal, whilst Klünter tried to redeem himself for the penalty with a good run forward, but again Bürki was equal it. In the final moments, Dahoud struck over, whilst substitute Alexander Isak just failed to place the ball into the far post with his effort.