Shinji Kagawa, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Christian Pulisic scored the goals as they reached the 3000 mark in the Bundesliga.
But just as importantly, it was a fifth-consecutive clean sheet - it’s the first time they’ve gone so long without conceding a goal at the start of the campaign, and Peter Bosz is the first Bundesliga coach to start with five blanks in the against column.
Kagawa’s goal the difference in action-packed half
After a good start to the season was halted with two defeats, including to Hannover 96 last Friday, Markus Gisdol made four changes for Hamburg, with Mergim Mavraj, Gotoku Sakai, Sejad Salihovic, given a first start, and the fit-again Bobby Wood brought in. After a 5-0 demolishment of 1. FC Köln, Mahmoud Dahoud and Maximillian Philipp made way for Shinji Kagawa and Christian Pulisic.
Both sides played the first half at relentless pace, although inevitably Dortmund had the better chances. Clever work from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Christian Pulisic saw the later shoot wide, before Aubameyang handed wide from an Andriy Yarmolenko cross, the sort of opportunity he would expect to score.
Yarmolenko was again involved in most good things that Dortmund did, and after winning a free-kick from a Lewis Holtby foul, he set up the opener. From wide left, he found Ömer Toprak, whose header was blocked by Kagawa. Kagawa was able to do the rest from there though, scrappily putting it into the back of the net to give his side the lead.
The action refused to stop and Hamburg tried to take the game back to Dortmund. Roman Bürki had already been kept busy, dealing with plenty of Hamburg balls into the box. He then had a shot to deal with, as André Hahn headed on Holtby’s cross, but the Swiss goalkeeper kept it out with a good save.
It would remain 1-0 going into the break, but Dortmund had plenty of chances to change that. Pulisic had a shot saved by Christian Mathenia, who then did likewise after a Yarmolenko header came off Mavraj. Yarmolenko had another opportunity soon after, but on that occasion he put it over.
Impressive second half for BVB to set new records
The single-goal advantage remained a perilous one. Hamburg were threatening, and Mavraj hit the side netting after Bürki tried to punch away a corner. Their final ball was most often lacking, but Dortmund will have been worried that they weren’t creating much themselves.
Their first real chance of the half resulting though in a second goal. A cross from Salihovic was cut out in the box, and the men in black countered with blistering speed. Pulisic and Yarmolenko were unsurprisingly involved at the business end of the move, with the latter’s cross taking a deflection before it was put in at the far post by Aubameyang.
Hamburg kept giving it a go but just weren’t able to find the target, as Hahn put a shot over both Bürki and the bar, and then, set up by Wood, put another effort wide. Aubameyang did likewise after a superb ball down the middle from Nuri Sahin, but this is one that really should have been swallowed up – a sitter missed by the frontman.
Pulisic was determined to make it three. His superb run down the right and into the box was halted by Douglas Santos, but he wasn’t put off, and moments later Dahoud found him again in the box and this time no-one was going to stop him from scoring off the post, not even the video assistant, who did have a look to make sure Aubameyang on the far side wasn’t distracting either the goalkeeper or defenders. It was Dortmund’s 3000th Bundesliga goal, the third team to reach that feat (following Bayern Munich and Werder Bremen).
The clean-sheet records were put in little danger after that, certainly not when Holtby fired well over. The only chance of note for a fourth fell to Sahin, whose attempt was deflected off Papadopoulos, but Dortmund continue their superb start to the Bundesliga season – five games, four wins, no defeats, 13 goals scored, none conceded; top of the league.