Japan star Shinji Kagawa and Germany teenager Mario Goetze turned on the style on Saturday as Borussia Dortmund hammered VfL Wolfsburg 5-1 to keep the pressure on German league leaders Bayern Munich.
Kagawa set up both the first and fourth goals for Dortmund, plus netted one of his own, while Goetze scored twice as defending champions Dortmund romped to an impressive home win.
Borussia’s victory puts them second and trims Munich’s lead to two points at the top with Bayern to play bottom side Augsburg yesterday.
“That was a really good performance with great counter-attacking and pin-point passes,” Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp said. “A touch of arrogance saw us lose the clean sheet, but the team responded immediately.”
The win came at a price as defender Neven Subotic is expected to miss the next six weeks, including Champions League games against Arsenal and Marseille, with a fractured cheekbone.
The hosts took the lead on 13 minutes as Kagawa played Goezte into the penalty area for the 19-year-old to rifle his shot into the bottom left-hand corner.
Kagawa made it 2-0 just before halftime when he was put into space by Poland striker Robert Lewandowski and the Japanese winger fired past Wolfsburg goalkeeper Diego Benaglio.
Former Arsenal and Barcelona star Alexander Hleb, who was making only his second appearance after signing for Wolfsburg at the start of the season, kept 2009 German champion Wolves in touch with a goal on 59 minutes.
However, a header from midfielder Sven Bender two minutes later put Dortmund back into a 3-1 lead before Kagawa produced a defense-splitting pass from deep which put Lewandowski free to fire past Benaglio on 66 minutes.
Goetze completed the rout 12 minutes from time as Dortmund look to be back to their best after a slow start to the season.
Werder Bremen went third and joined Dortmund and Borussia Moenchengladbach on 23 points when they came back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 against 10-man Cologne thanks to a second-half hat-trick from Peru’s Claudio Pizarro.
“It is astounding to see that Claudio Pizarro just seems to get better with age,” Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf said.
Cologne enjoyed a 2-0 halftime lead, but having scored his 150th Bundesliga goal the week before, 33-year-old ex-Chelsea star Pizarro made the difference.
He netted his first goal just after the break, then converted a penalty on 54 minutes after Cologne’s Portuguese defender Henrique Sereno was sent off for a foul in the penalty area on Sweden striker Markus Rosenberg.
Pizarro wrapped up his hat-trick four minutes from time when Rosenberg’s pass found him at the far post.
Moenchengladbach moved up to fourth after their come-back win at Hertha Berlin as Bayern-target Marco Reus scored both their goals in a 2-1 win.
Bayer Leverkusen threw away a 2-0 lead at home as strugglers Hamburg roared back with goals from ex-Germany players Marcell Jansen and Heiko Westermann to leave their side 16th in the league.
“Of course, this is a set-back for us, it’s not good enough to throw away a two-goal lead,” said ex-Germany captain Michael Ballack, who played the full 90 minutes for Leverkusen.
Hosts Nuremberg lost 2-1 at home to Freiburg as Senegal striker Papiss Ciss converted a penalty with the last kick of the game for the visitors, which moves them to up third from bottom as mid-table Hoffenheim drew 1-1 with Kaiserslautern.