Borussia Dortmund remain hot on the heels of Bundesliga leaders FC Bayern München after sweeping past 1. FSV Mainz 05 on Matchday 26.
Mainz managed to keep Dortmund at bay in the opening 20 minutes, but parity would not last. The warning signs were there as Marcel Schmelzer was allowed to cut in from the left and test Loris Karius, before the dam broke thanks to a superb bit of play from Gonzalo Castro. After waltzing his way through the midfield, the former Bayer 04 Leverkusen man slide the ball into the path of Marco Reus, who sent a cool first-time finish into the net.
Dortmund were dominant and carved out numerous opportunities to double their lead, with Karius pulling off a trio of excellent saves to thwart Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang early in the second half. The Mainz custodian denied Mkhitaryan and Reus scooped over, but with the visitors seldom allowed out of their own half, BVB soon got the second goal their overwhelming superiority deserved when Shinji Kagawa touched in Aubameyang's selfless cross 17 minutes from time.
Man of the match
Although Schmelzer wasted a golden opportunity to add a third goal late on, the Dortmund left-back played an absolute blinder from start to finish.
Bayern asked the question with a crushing win over SV Werder Bremen, and Dortmund responded emphatically. Thomas Tuchel’s side still have a sizeable five-point deficit to overcome, but with eight games of the season still to play, the title race is not over yet.
- Reus has scored ten goals in 13 appearances against Mainz, and has netted the opening goal a league-high six times this term.
- Castro has registered seven assists and one goal in 19 Bundesliga appearances this season.
- Dortmund led at half time for the first time in 2016.
- Kagawa scored his first Bundesliga goal since 5 December 2015
Dortmund: Bürki - Durm (Piszczek 46'), Sokratis, Hummels, Schmelzer - Sahin (Weigl 64'), Kagawa, Castro - Mkhitaryan (Ramos 85'), Reus - Aubameyang
Mainz: Karius - Brosinski, Balogun, Bell, Bussmann - Baumgartlinger, F. Frei (Latza 62') - Clemens (Onisiwo 62'), Malli, Jairo (Serdar 76') - Cordoba