Borussia Dortmund closed the gap at the top of the Bundesliga standings to five points after a muscular display to defeat SV Werder Bremen 3-1 on Saturday afternoon.
With Bremen's confidence shaken following five defeats in their last six Bundesliga outings, Dortmund began intent on compounding their hosts' misery and were rampant from the off. Bremen were unable to deal with the pressure and soon went behind when Ilkay Gündogan played an exquisite pass down the right to Henrikh Mkhitaryan, whose ball across the face of the goal was sidefooted home at the back post by Marco Reus.
Bremen gradually fought their way back into the game and equalised when Nigeria international Anthony Ujah tapped in from close range after Florian Grillitsch's shot was saved by Roman Bürki. Dortmund regained the lead just before the break, though, Mkhitaryan scoring with a diving header from Mats Hummels' superb cross with the outside of his right boot. Reus later sealed the points in the closing stages, rifling the ball into the net from Mkhitaryan's pass.
Man of the match
Any number of Dortmund players could have taken the accolade here, with Reus, Gündogan and Julian Weigl all impressive. However, it was Mkhitaryan who was the game's decisive figure, scoring one and creating both of Reus' goals to leave Bremen with no chance.
Much has rightly been made of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's goalscoring exploits in recent weeks, but this match underlined the depth of BVB's attacking talent. The Gabon international was not at his best here, but Shinji Kagawa, Mkhitaryan, Reus and Gündogan demonstrated that BVB are far from a one-man show up front.
- Reus' ninth-minute strike was the 1000th goal Bremen have conceded at home in the Bundesliga. No other club have let in as many on home turf.
- 27 of Reus' 64 competitive goals for BVB have put the side 1-0 up.
- Ujah now has four goals in his last three competitive matches.
Bremen: Wiedwald – Gebre Selassie, Galvez, Vestergaard, Sternberg – Bargfrede – Bartels (Pizarro 83’), Fritz (Fröde 82’), Grillitsch (Lorenzen 77’), Junuzovic - Ujah
Dortmund: Bürki – Ginter (Piszcek 84’), Sokratis, Hummels, Park (Schmelzer 76’) – Gündogan, Weigl – Mkhitaryan, Kagawa, Reus (Castro 77’) - Aubameyang