A club record-breaking eighth consecutive Bundesliga goal from Robert Lewandowski sparked a fast and furious end to the first half, turning the contest on his head after Jonathan Schmid had fired Freiburg in front. Nuri Sahin made it 2-1 a couple of minutes later with his first Bundesliga strike since returning from Real Madrid on a long-term loan over the winter break and another from Lewandowski in added time sent a shell-shocked Freiburg into the break with a mini-mountain to climb. It was not to be, as Sahin with his own second and substitute Leonardo Bittencourt rounded out the win inside the final 20 minutes of a much more one-sided second half.
Chances for Freiburg
The Yellow-Blacks were slow out of the blocks against a visiting side which included two players making their starting debut in the Bundesliga in 20-year-old left back Christian Günter and attacking midfielder Marco Terrazzino. With just five on the clock, the latter had the opportunity to mark the occasion in style, finding himself momentarily clean through on Roman Weidenfeller's goal after being freed up by Johannes Flum, but he failed to get his finish off in time.
Four minutes later another break from a livewire Freiburg ended with Flum fizzing a shot wide from the right. Just shy of the quarter-hour mark, the normally quick-starting hosts then had their first chance of the contest, Mario Götze brilliantly teeing up a volley for himself following a corner, which SCF custodian Oliver Baumann managed to bat away.
Guests lead, hosts respond
After that bright start by the men from the South West, Dortmund looked to be gradually warming to the task, carving out several half-chances down either flank. When the breakthrough came in the 27th minute, though, it was at the other end. Julian Schuster's ball in from the right found Max Kruse unmarked at the back post with the time and space to tee up a lob across the face of the goal for the onrushing Schmid to hammer home from close-range.
That setback initially seemed to throw Borussia off their stride and with the clock ticking down, it looked like the underdogs were heading into the break with a by no means unmerited lead. Then, in the 40th minute, Sahin floated a free kick from midfield in the direction of the back post and Lewandowski rose highest to angle his header past Baumann into the corner of the Freiburg net.
The Turkey international's first assist since returning to Dortmund was followed two minutes later by his first goal, slammed home following some good approach work from Jakub Blaszczykowski down the left. The reigning champs were on a roll now and in the added minute at the end of the half, Lewandowski picked up on the rebound after Marco Reus had been foiled at close range by Baumann, switching feet before calmly slotting his finish into the corner - his 19th Bundesliga goal of the campaign.
On the back of all that, Freiburg more than anything needed a quick response early in the second 45, but instead it was Jürgen Klopp's troops who were now definitively on the ascendant. There were few clear-cut chances of note in the opening 20 minutes, but the visitors were seemingly able to offer little more going forward after their first-half exertions, while Sahin and Ilkay Gündogan were combining to ever better effect in the middle of the park for Borussia.
No way back for Freiburg
Sahin had one effort deflected just wide and Götze came within inches of connecting with a Blaszczykowski cross before apparently earning a penalty following a clash in the box with Pavel Krmas, only for the referee to revoke the decision after consulting his linesman. That was in the 72nd minute, but seconds later it was rendered fully irrelevant as Dortmund made it 4-1. A superb long pass from Felipe Santana paved the way for a penalty-box scramble which Sahin put a clinical end to, showing superb technique to rattle the ball in under the crossbar.
It then only remained for Bittencourt to ice the cake with his cameo off the bench, the youngster tapping home with his second touch of the contest in the 78th minute after Lewandowski had ghosted past three opponents. The Polish frontman could have made it six himself inside the final minutes, but his lob sailed over the bar and Bundesliga goal number 20 of the season will have to wait a little longer.
Line-ups and statistics