By Ben Sully@SullyBen

Dortmund's five star performance reignites title race

Borussia Dortmund piled on the pressure on Bayern Munich as they closed the gap to the league leaders to just three points with a 5-1 victory over SC Freiburg.

The dominant performance ensured Dortmund extended their unbeaten Bundesliga run against the Breisgau-Brasilianer to 14 games.
Undoubtedly buoyed from their superb comeback victory over Eintracht Frankfurt last weekend, Dortmund began this encounter with a certain air of confidence. Donyell Malen has started to show why BVB acquired his signature last summer, and the Dutchman threatened early in the contest as he shimmied inside from the left before sending an effort wide of the target.

Malen’s wayward strike signalled the home side’s intent, and they took a deserved lead only minutes later. Julian Brandt’s corner-kick delivery found the head of Thomas Meunier who had made a run beyond the near post, and the right-back showed the finishing qualities of a veteran striker as he glanced home to register his first goal of the season.

Freiburg have scored 16 goals from set-pieces in the league this season, but it was Dortmund who were reaping the rewards from dead-ball situations as they doubled their lead in the 29th minute in a passage of play that was reminiscent of the opener. On this occasion, Brandt whipped a corner-kick in from the right side, and yet again he found Meunier, who headed home to score his second of the game.

With Dortmund discovering newfound confidence from set-pieces, Raphaël Guerreiro tried his luck from a free-kick, and his ambition nearly paid off as Benjamin Uphoff fumbled the Portugal international’s effort.

The home side completed a superb first-half performance in stoppage time, when Jude Bellingham stole the ball from Lucas Höler, and the England international raced towards the edge of the box before offloading to Erling Haaland, who made no mistake in guiding the ball beyond Uphoff.

Despite enjoying a feast of goals in the first period, Dortmund looked hungry for more in the second half. A fierce strike from Mahmoud Dahoud was gathered by Uphoff before Malen saw his effort trickle just inches wide.

With the hosts seemingly in total control, Freiburg pulled a goal back against the run of play in the 61st minute. Gregor Kobel saved well to deny Roland Sallai, but half time substitute Ermedin Demirović was on hand to score the rebound.

Although any hope of a Freiburg comeback was quashed by Haaland, who latched onto Dahoud's well-weighted through ball and with the Norwegian one-on-one with Uphoff, there was only ever going to be one result as Haaland slid the ball under the visiting goalkeeper.

As Dortmund began to enjoy themselves and the visitors started to tire, the hosts threatened to add to their tally, and a fifth goal duly arrived in the 86th minute. Dahoud collected the ball inside the penalty area, and he had all the time in the world to set himself before firing the ball past a helpless Uphoff.

The emphatic 5-1 victory reignites a dormant title race, and BVB will have a keen eye on Bayern Munich's meeting with 1. FC Köln on Saturday afternoon.

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