The German international was influential throughout, although his side spent the first half trailing to Elkin Soto’s stunning first-minute strike. Neven Subotic netted moments after the restart, before Reus latched onto Kevin Kampl’s pass to score. Yunus Malli pegged Dortmund back, but Reus’ sublime ball released Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to put the hosts back in front before Nuri Sahin completed the scoring.
An early setback
Shorn of defensive rock Mats Hummels due to illness, BVB’s frailties at the back were exposed within the first minute at the Signal Iduna Park. A long ball put Shinji Okazaki in behind, and Roman Weidenfeller’s misjudged punch landed at the feet of Soto, whose lofted, speculative volley from all of 30 yards looped over the covering defenders to give the visitors a dream start. Reus rattled the post in response, ushering in a Dortmund onslaught on Stefanos Kapino’s goal.
Aubameyang drew the Greek custodian into an excellent stop in the eighth minute after a brilliant Reus pass, while Ilkay Gündogan and Sahin also came close. Die Schwarz-Gelben were enjoying the lion’s share of possession, and although Shinji Kagawa and Kampl’s high pressure forced plenty of corners before the half-hour mark, Klopp’s side struggled to carve out chances as promising as Reus’ third-minute effort.
Reus takes control
Dortmund eventually started to turn their midfield possession into goal-scoring opportunities as half time approached. Reus skied a close-range shot, before being foiled by Kapino soon afterwards. Although one Daniel Brosinski cross flashed dangerously across Weidenfeller’s goal, the hosts remained in control. Both Kagawa and Kampl underlined that control by scything shots inches past the post, but BVB went into the break behind for the seventh time this season.
Within three minutes of the restart, Klopp’s men were deservedly level. A Marcel Schmelzer corner was met perfectly by Subotic, whose glancing header left Kapino with no chance. The goal allowed the hosts to move the ball with more purpose and poise than in the first period, forcing Mainz deeper. Reus took full advantage in the 55th minute, latching onto Kampl’s clever through ball and calmly rounding the Greek custodian to give his side the lead and send the yellow wall into raptures.
Aubameyang finishes it
The lead lasted but two minutes, as familiar defensive frailties came to haunt Dortmund. With Sokratis and Subotic out of position, Malli found himself in the clear from Soto’s through ball, placing a calm finish past Weidenfeller for an equaliser against the run of play. Undeterred, BVB twice went close to reclaiming the lead through Aubameyang as the hosts cranked up the pressure in search of the winner.
It was to be the Gabonese international who netted Dortmund’s crucial third in the 71st minute of a frenetic second period, poking past Kapino for his eighth goal of the season after another sensational Reus pass had put him clear. With 13 minutes left on the clock, Sahin then hammered home from close range to complete a breathless but thoroughly deserved victory for BVB.
Line-ups and statistics