Starting a game for only the second time since returning on loan from Real Madrid CF during the winter break, the Germany-born Turkish international's performance in the 5-1 victory offered a reminder of the performances that won him the 2011 Player of the Year award. Sahin bagged his first ever Bundesliga brace and set up Robert Lewandowski for Dortmund's opener with another of his impressive 96 touches.
"Getting better all the time"
"This game was another step forward in my development. It’s getting better all the time, and you could see that against Freiburg," the 24-year-old said after the match before admitting that limited playing time was beginning to make him "restless".
Bastian Schweinsteiger was at the heart of FC Bayern Munich's positive response to criticism last week's defeat to Arsenal FC in the UEFA Champions League, but finished well behind Sahin in the voting. The lively 28-year-old midfielder proved particularly menacing from set-pieces in Saturday's 2-1 success against Bayer 04 Leverkusen, forcing Werkself defender Philipp Wollscheid to deflect a late free-kick into his own goal for the record champions' 100th competitive goal this season.
Gomez grabs Goal of the Week
Third-placed Mario Gomez was similarly crucial as the Bavarians drew even closer to a 22nd Bundesliga title, breaking the deadlock at the BayArena with his 134th Bundesliga goal, taking him past the legendary Giovane Elber in the Bundesliga's all-time scoring chart. Gomez's superb solo effort also featured among Matchday 26's Goal of the Week selection.
Gomez has now scored in each of his last six starts, but that impressive ratio is bettered still by the league's current top scorer, Borussia Dortmund's Robert Lewandowski. The 51-time Polish international set a new club record in the 5-1 demolition of Freiburg by netting in his eighth consecutive domestic outing, breaking the previous best mark set by the late BVB legend Timo Konietzka. Lewandowski is one of only five players in Bundesliga's history to have scored in eight straight matches.
Hiroshi Kiyotake was key in 1. FC Nuremberg's 3-0 win against FC Schalke 04. The Japanese midfield maestro set up a goal for Alexander Esswein in the Franconian side's biggest win since beating the Royal Blues 4-1 almost a year ago.
Elsewhere, Mathis Bolly rescued Fortuna Düsseldorf an important point in the 1-1 draw at VfL Wolfsburg, scoring an almost identical opener to the one he netted against Bayern Munich. It was the Norwegian striker's second goal in only his third appearance since joining from Lillestrom SK in the winter.