DORTMUND, Germany -- Borussia Dortmund midfielder Christian Pulisic said that the "awesome" Westfalenstadion was a factor in Wednesday's 4-0 win over Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.
Pulisic, 20, told reporters after the match: "The key for today's win was that we fought until the very end. We know that when we play as we currently do, then the substitutes will come on and score more goals."
Axel Witsel scored the opener in the 38th minute, profiting from a deflection. In the second half, substitutes Raphael Guerreiro and Jadon Sancho put their names on the scoresheet with the former grabbing a brace.
The United States international also acknowledged the power of the 12th man in the sold-out Dortmund stadium with an attendance of 66,099 spectators: "Of course, we have quality but we also have an awesome stadium. I think that also made it hard for Atletico today."
Meanwhiile, Witsel, who played an integral part in BVB's resounding win, completing 70 out of 75 passes, knew of the historic magnitude of the result after the game.
"The last time Atletico lost by that many goals was 2009," he said, adding: "Before the game, we knew it was going to be tough because they have a lot of experience in the team. They're used to play in the Champions League semifinal. So we had to play smart and that's what we did. We played really great in the first half. In the second half, the first 20 minutes we allowed Atletico to see too much of the ball, which made them more dangerous. But we remained compact and defended well -- the entire team did. And then we killed them on the counter."
The 29-year-old also explained that he did not regret his move from China to the Bundesliga this summer: "Dortmund are the best team I've ever played for in my career because it's the first time for me playing at the top level. I'm not just talking about BVB but the Bundesliga in general.
"Coming here was a big challenge for me but I knew I had the quality to play here. If not, I would have decided to stay in China. I'm really happy. I didn't expect the team to already play so well because we have a lot of really young players and also a lot of new faces."
Witsel's midfield colleague Thomas Delaney, who had to come off after 35 minutes due to a foot injury, agreed with the Belgium international: "Atletico was a good test for our own maturity. It's still early in the season but this win is a massive step for us."
The Danish international also found praise for Lucien Favre's ability to keep spirits high despite the challenge of coaching a squad of 29 players. Delaney said: "Obviously, we have a big squad and the coach cannot please everyone but he still manages to give us the feeling that we're all one team.
"Even if you don't make the matchday squad, you don't feel left behind. You always know that you can be back in the team the next week. That's important for a team with so many good players. Right now we have that balance where the coach trusts you but at the same time, you know that you have to play very well because there are other players waiting on the bench. The atmosphere in the team is just amazing. For example, all the midfielders are sticking together even though not everyone can play. We're a team and that's just awesome.
"It's also just awesome to see how [Achraf] Hakimi and all these 18, 19-year-olds come and perform. [Centre-back] Dan-Axel Zagadou also played well again today. Awesome. Right now anything is possible. But we also know that bad phases are ahead. That's how football is. Currently, we even score goals from basically out of nothing."
Dortmund are on a roll, having scored four goals in each of their last three games and are yet to lose a game under new coach Favre. Their emphatic home win over Atletico hands them a three-point advantage over the Spanish outfit in Group A, while AS Monaco and FC Brugge are trailing eight points behind the Westphalians after a 1-1 tie in Brugge earlier on Wednesday night.
BVB are looking to extend their three-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga on Saturday against Hertha Berlin.