Dortmund - Borussia Dortmund eased through the gears ahead of a busy week of football to comfortably defeat Hannover 96 3-1 on Saturday afternoon.
The returning Robert Lewandowski struck twice in the first half, before Mohammed Abdellaoue reduced the arrears shortly before the break. Julian Schieber scored the decisive third in the closing stages, although the result was rarely in doubt throughout.
In a fixture that has traditionally produced goals by the hatful, Dortmund started like a team determined to give another sell-out Signal Iduna Park crowd their money's worth. Coach Jürgen Klopp had reshuffled his side with half an eye on Tuesday's UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg home meeting with Shakhtar Donetsk, but it made little difference to the hosts' rhythm.
Within moments, Marco Reus and Jakub Blaszczykowski had gone close to scoring before Lewandowski provided the inevitable opener with just eight minutes on the clock. Blaszczykowski released Kevin Großkreutz down the right and his pull-back from the by-line was comfortably slotted home by Dortmund's No9.
The match could have taken on a different complexion had Konstantin Rausch's effort not been ruled out for offside for Hannover, but as it was, Dortmund continued to pile on the pressure. It wasn't long before Lewandowski grabbed his second of the afternoon, tapping in from close range after Ron-Robert Zieler could only parry Großkreutz's shot from distance. The visitors did get a goal back just before the break however, when Abdellaoue nodded over the line after Roman Weidenfeller could only tip Felipe Santana's clumsy defensive header onto the bar.
Hannover began the second half more aggressively and prevented the hosts from getting into their stride once more by peppering the back line with high balls over the top. While they didn't get anywhere near to Weidenfeller again, the tactic at least prevented Dortmund from putting the game out of reach.
Gradually the Yellow-Blacks exerted their dominance once more and the introduction of Mario Götze breathed new life into their forward play. The midfielder had an effort cleared off the line after a surge from deep took him past Hannover's static defence, before Schieber provided the killer blow.
A counterattack had Blaszczykowski scampering down the left wing and when he cut inside, Scheiber was well positioned to side-foot the ball past the stranded Zieler from 18 yards. Dortmund subsequently went into energy conservation mode with the three points seemingly wrapped up and played out the remainder of the match without trouble. The result continued Hannover's miserable away form this season, handing them a ninth defeat in twelve attempts, while cementing Dortmund's place in second.
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