Dortmund - Another powerhouse display on home turf against SC Freiburg on Saturday kept Borussia Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga pile on Matchday 7, with the 5-0 margin of victory extending their lead on goal difference over defending champions FC Bayern München.
A first-half brace from Marco Reus set the Schwarzgelben on course for victory, the second from a penalty on the stroke of half time which resulted in a red card for Freiburg centre back Fallou Diagne - a double-whammy which effectively put the outcome beyond any reasonable doubt.
Two goals from Robert Lewandowski and a late strike from Jakub Blaszczykowski underscored BVB's superiority after the interval and speaking to the press afterwards, Reus agreed that the performance was "a good response" to speculation that the team were suffering a form dip following the previous week's 1-1 draw at Nürnberg.
The 24-year hometown favourite's 35th-minute opener was his 24th competitive goal for Dortmund and, strikingly, 14 of those have put the team 1-0 in front. The two-goal half-time cushion, he acknowledged, "gave us a lot to build on. Freiburg going a man down played into our hands as well, of course. That gave us more space to work in, and we made good use of it after the break."
High praise for Lewandowski
Asked whether the possibility had been raised at half-time of easing back a bit, with an eye to Tuesday's crunch UEFA Champions League home game against Olympique de Marseille, Reus said, "no, that was never even considered. Our style is simply to keep going forward. We were playing in front of another packed house and we always want to give the fans their money's worth." The bottom line at Dortmund, he stressed, is that, "we just enjoy football. Winning by two or three goals isn't enough for us, we always want to score one more. That's our basic approach, and this game was a good example of it."
Lewandowski's own brace took his overall tally to ten in seven Bundesliga outings against Freiburg - all of them won - and on the subject of his Polish international team-mate's clinical lob to make it 3-0 Reus reflected, "what's left to say about the guy? He's a world-class striker. He's almost unbeatable one-on-one and has an incredible eye for an opening. It was a really great goal."
Next up - Marseille
All-in-all, for Dortmund's 2012 summer signing from Mönchengladbach, the key to the one-sided final outcome was thus: "We pressed them high up the pitch right from the start," he said. "We kept play as near as possible to their goal and saved a lot of energy in the process." And far from simply being up against vastly inferior opponents, Freiburg, despite their current travails, "are very confident on the ball and always try to build from the back."
At any rate, with the points safely in the bag, BVB can now turn their thoughts fully to that European summit with Marseille. Head coach Jürgen Klopp is banished to the stands following an outburst against the fourth official in the group-opening 2-1 loss at SSC Napoli, but Reus said, "you're so focused on the game that that doesn't make much of a difference. It's going to be tough against Marseille one way or the other. But after losing at Napoli, we have to get the three points this time."
Angus Davison/Dietmar Nolte in Dortmund