Borussia Dortmund crushed 10-man Freiburg 5-1 in the Bundesliga on Saturday, with forward Sebastien Haller on target for the first time since his return from cancer treatment, helping lift his side into third spot.
The Ruhr valley club, who face Chelsea in the Champions League Round of 16 on Feb. 15, was in superb form as it made it four wins out of four league games since the restart and moves up to 37 points, as many as champions Bayern Munich, in second, who is in action at VfL Wolfsburg on Sunday.
Union Berlin is on top with 39 points following its win over Mainz 05.
“We did it really well, defended well and allowed no single corner for Freiburg in the entire game,” said Dortmund coach Edin Terzic.
“We also scored five goals which made us happy but we know we have to do it again next week.”
Freiburg, who dropped to sixth place on 34 points, slipped up at the start with Kiliann Sildillia booked twice in three minutes to reduce his team to 10 men in the 17th minute.
It did not take long for Dortmund to make their advantage count and former Freiburg defender Nico Schlotterbeck rifled in for the lead from the tightest of angles in the 26th.
Dortmund had Freiburg firmly on the back foot but the visitors struck against the run of play with Lucas Hoeler drilling in a loose ball after the hosts had failed to clear it near the end of the first half.
Order however was quickly restored after the restart as Dortmund scored twice in a span of three minutes.
Jude Bellingham set up Karim Adeyemi with a backheel flick and the Germany international slipped the ball past keeper Mark Flekken in the 48th to put them back in front.
It was then Haller, back this year after undergoing surgeries and treatment for testicular cancer diagnosed only weeks after he had signed for the club last July, who scored his first competitive goal for them, heading in a cross in the 51st.
“This goal came way too late,” Terzic said. “We had wished he had scored his first goal back in July and August when we signed him, but you all know the story since then.”
“So the goal came today, in front of the yellow wall (of Dortmund fans). It means so very much to him and so very much to us. We hope it was the first of many, many goals.”
Dortmund captain Marco Reus should have scored as well when he was left unmarked in front of goal at the far post in the 55th, but he rattled the crossbar with his shot.
Julian Brandt did not miss with a long-range effort that went in off the post in the 69th, and Gio Reyna completed Freiburg’s demolition in the 82nd, after Freiburg coach Christian Streich was sent off as well for dissent.
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