BERLIN: Sebastien Haller and Marco Reus both scored twice as Borussia Dortmund thrashed Cologne 6-1 on Saturday, sending the home side provisionally top of the Bundesliga ahead of Bayern Munich.
The Ruhr valley club, who last won the Bundesliga title under then coach Juergen Klopp in 2012, underlined their title ambitions by blowing away their opponents during an explosive four-goal first half performance.
Donyell Malen and Raphael Guerreiro also got on the scoresheet as Dortmund moved a point clear of Bayern.
Guerreiro, on target last week against Schalke as well, opened Dortmund’s account in the 15th minute after superb work down the wing from Malen.
Ivory Coast striker Haller, back to full fitness after undergoing cancer treatment earlier in the season, thundered in after a quick passing move two minutes later.
With Cologne playing catch-up it was only a matter of time until Dortmund scored again and Reus superbly rifled in just after half an hour before Malen also got on the scoresheet with a powerful shot that keeper Marvin Schwaebe could not keep out.
Cologne briefly came up for air in the 42nd when Davie Selke cut the deficit with his first goal for the club but despite a slower pace after the break Dortmund still struck twice in two minutes.
Haller tucked in his second goal after a Mo Dahoud free kick bounced off the bar and Reus made it 150 Bundesliga goals and a total of 161 goals in all competitions for the club in the 70th.
The victory was a return to form for Dortmund who suffered Champions League elimination at Chelsea and stumbled to a draw with derby rivals Schalke after starting the year with 10 straight wins.
Cologne are now winless in five and sit 13th, just six points clear of the relegation play-off spot.
BOCHUM BEAT LEIPZIG
Earlier on Saturday, a second-half goal from Erhan Masovic took Bochum to a surprise 1-0 home win over RB Leipzig, dealing the visitors a blow in their top-four battle.
Bochum took the lead three minutes into the second half when Masovic latched onto a loose ball in the penalty area and headed past Leipzig goalkeeper Janis Blaswich.
Leipzig midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai had a late chance to equalise but his shot hit the inside of the post and rebounded into the arms of Bochum ‘keeper Manuel Riemann.
Bochum’s second win in a row pushed them four points clear of the relegation playoff spot.
Elsewhere, An injury-time penalty from Schalke’s Marius Buelter cancelled out Arne Maier’s second-half goal to snatch a point at Augsburg in a 1-1 draw.
Augsburg looked on track for their fourth 1-0 win in their past five home matches but had Ermedin Demirovic sent off midway through the second half to open the door for Schalke.
Two first-half penalties from Andrej Kramaric and a second-half goal from Ilhas Bebou propelled Hoffenheim to a 3-1 home victory over Hertha Berlin.
In another match, a second-half goal from Omar Marmoush earned Wolfsburg a 1-0 win at Stuttgart, keeping their late run towards European qualification alive.
Published in Dawn, March 20th, 2023
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