Marco Reus got a hat-trick as Borussia Dortmund strengthened their claim for European qualification with a 3-0 win over fourth place Eintracht Frankfurt at the Signal Iduna Park.
Reus scored twice in the first ten minutes, before completing the treble in the second period, in a game where both sides had a man sent off.
Julian Schieber was dismissed for two yellow cards in the first off, while Frankfurt midfielder Takashi Inui was given two bookings with 15 minutes to go.
Despite playing only 52 hours earlier, Dortmund showed no signs of tiredness as they came flying out of the blocks. Jacob Blaszczykowski had a golden chance in just the third minute, as Mario Gotze’s lay-off allowed the Polish winger to strike at goal, but he wildly scythed it wide.
Reus nearly opened the scoring just after as he raced onto Sven Bender’s pass, but his right-footed shot was well saved by Frankfurt goalkeeper Kevin Trapp. He would not be denied for long though.
Gotze flicked the ball through the defensive line with a brilliant touch, and Reus latched onto it to side-foot Dortmund into the lead, with a splendid finish. The home side were full of confidence now, and doubled their lead just two minutes after the opener.
This time Ilkay Gundogan was the man who passed it through, but the end result was the same as Reus smashed it through Trapp’s legs and into the bottom corner with his left foot.
Frankfurt got a huge boost as Schieber, the man in place of the suspended Robert Lewandoski, was given his marching orders for two sloppy bookings. The first was a late tackle, while the second was for a stray elbow as he challenged the Frankfurt centre-backs.
Sebastian Rode was handed a glorious chance to pull the away side back into the game when he raced onto Srdan Lakic’s through ball, but the former Kickers Offenbach winger could only dink the ball wide from a tight angle.
After the half-time break, Dortmund continued to dominate. Trapp made a mistake from Reus’ in-swinging free-kick as his poor punch landed to Neven Subotic, but the defender’s volley deflected off of Anderson Bamba onto the crossbar.The goalkeeper managed to do better from Gotze shot, as he pushed it away from 10 yards.
Frankfurt were handed a superb chance to get a goal back, when substitute Olivier Occean headed down for Lakic, but the striker half-volleyed wide from 5 yards with the goal gaping. It was a terrible miss, and Dortmund punished them for it with the next attack.
Gotze got behind the defence gain, before holding up play brilliantly and flicking the ball back to Reus. The German youngster steadied himself before he coolly planted it into the top corner for his hat-trick, to the delight of Dortmund managed Jurgen Klopp.
It got worse for Frankfurt when their Japanese playmaker was given a red card. Inui pulled down Mats Hummels and the referee pulled out a second yellow for the midfielder and the sides were evened up.
Frankfurt defender Sebastian Jung also hit the crossbar with a stunning striker from 30 yards but Dortmund were in full control and picked up a great victory in the race for UEFA Champions League football next season.
Match Report by Kyle Dixon. (@kyledixon95)
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Kyle Dixon