September 17, 2017 / 6:27 PM / a year ago

Soccer-Dortmund hit five past Cologne as VAR plays decisive role

BERLIN, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Borussia Dortmund thumped Cologne 5-0 on Sunday, their haul including a goal and penalty awarded with help from the video assistant referee (VAR), to leave their opponents bottom of the Bundesliga and pointless after four games.

Maximilian Philipp and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang each scored a brace, the latter in the space of two minutes, as Cologne returned to the harsh realities of the Bundesliga after their midweek European adventure in London. Borussia, meanwhile, went top with 10 points, ahead of Hanover 96 on goal difference.

An estimated 20,000 Cologne fans marched through London on Thursday to celebrate their team’s first European match in 25 years as they visited Arsenal.

Despite the festive atmosphere, many of them did not have tickets and the match, won 3-1 by Arsenal, was delayed for an hour by crowd problems.

The Billy Goats barely had time to settle on Sunday before Philipp headed in Andriy Yarmolenko’s cross after two minutes.

Cologne pulled themselves together and held their own until the stroke of half-time when their goalkeeper Timo Horn dropped the ball at a corner and Dortmund defender Sokratis tapped it in.

The referee at first awarded Cologne a free kick but, after consulting with the VAR, changed his mind and gave the goal.

The VAR was again decisive in the 59th minute when Cologne’s Lukas Kluenter raised his arm to a Yarmolenko cross and the referee, after another consultation, awarded the penalty which Aubameyang converted.

The Gabon forward struck again the following minute when he turned in another Yarmolenko cross and Philipp dinked the ball over Horn for the fifth in the 69th minute.

Kevin Volland scored twice as Bayer Leverkusen beat Freiburg 4-0 to claim their first win of the season and leave the Black Forest side winless.

Hoffenheim, 2-0 winners over Bayern Munich the previous weekend, were held 1-1 at home by Hertha Berlin, leaving them with eight points. (Writing by Brian Homewood in Milan; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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