After a torrid past few weeks, Borussia Dortmund needed a response. And not just any response, a strong response, which would indicate that there’s still life in the Peter Stoger regime, as well as give optimism for next season. Just as important, it would re-ignite momentum in their bid to finish in the Champions League places, but their next opponents were Bayer Leverkusen, who were fresh from seeing off Frankfurt the previous week, and were above Dortmund.
It was however only 13 minutes gone when Die Schwarzgelben hit the front against Leverkusen, courtesy of youngster Jordan Sancho. They took that lead into the halftime break, although it should have been more, had Marco Reus not floundered from 12 yards eight minutes before the interval. 10 minutes after the break though, Reus would make amends and double his side’s advantage, before Sancho turned provider for Maximillian Philipp, eight minutes after, to make it three.
Sancho was having a storming game, and he provided the fourth for Dortmund, a corner with which Reus planted in a brilliant header. It was the kind of big result that would take some pressure off Stoger on the bench. It also takes Dortmund up to third, five points clear of fifth.
That win also means Dortmund are now on the coattails of rivals Schalke, who threw away a two-goal lead at Koln. Schalke got off to the perfect start, with Breel Embolo putting them in front after just four minutes, then after 23, Yevhen Konoplyanka, one of the stars of the previous weekend’s Revier derby win, made it two nil to Domenico Tedesco’s side.
Koln halved the deficit almost immediately, former Dortmund man Leonardo Bittencourt with the goal that meant they would go into halftime only a goal behind. For 38 of the second 45 minutes, the score-line was unchanged, and it looked as though Schalke would leave with the spoils, but it would be Marcel Risse to pop up with the late goal, to rescue a point for the hosts. It was a brilliant comeback for Effzeh, but it still does them little good, as they’re eight points adrift of safety, with only a maximum of nine left to play for.
Elsewhere, Bayern Munich had to wait until the second half at Hannover, but once they got going at the AWD Arena there was no stopping them, Thomas Muller putting them in front after 57 minutes, before goals from Robert Lewandowski and Sebastian Rudy sealed a 3-0 win for the champions. Frankfurt’s Champions League hopes suffered another blow as they were beaten comprehensively at home by Hertha Berlin, in a game where they were reduced to 10 men, Makoto Hasebe getting sent off for Niko Kovac’s team.
Hamburg gave themselves a glimmer of hope in a bid for a great escape, Lewis Holtby with the only goal as they beat 10-man Freiburg, whose defender Caglar Soyuncu saw red. Mark Uth moved to joint-second in the Bundesliga top scorer standings with a brace, as Hoffenheim hit five at Leipzig to go fifth.
Dortmund 4-0 Leverkusen
Hannover 0-3 Bayern Munich
Monchengladbach 3-0 Wolfsburg
Koln 2-2 Schalke
Hamburg 1-0 Freiburg
Augsburg 2-0 Mainz
Stuttgart 2-0 Werder Bremen
Frankfurt 0-3 Hertha BSC
RB Leipzig 2-5 Hoffenheim