Lucien Favre & Co didn't have much to smile about after a 1-3 midweek fall to Lazio in the Champions League.
A prime-time fixture against lowly Schalke took care of that.
It wasn't much of a contest in the 97th edition of Germany's famed "Revierderby". Manuel Baum's FC Schalke 04 managed to contain Dortmund for much of the initial hour, but the manner in which the BVB lorded over possession left one with the impression that a one-sided scoreline would eventually result.
Dortmund trainer Lucien Favre, faced with a depleted defensive corps, shifted his tactics to a 4-2-3-1 when squaring off against his club's fiercest rival. Thomas Delaney, who had been deputized to play as a center-back, moved into midfield to partner with German international Mahmoud Dahoud.
Raphäel Guerreiro moved all the back to the left fullback position. Returning Manuel Akanji partnered with Mats Hummels at center-back. Thomas Meunier also headed rearward to complete the four-man-defensive chain. Julian Brandt started ahead of the sixes as a ten, flanked bu Giovanni Reyna (left) and Jadon Sancho (right).
It took some time for the Schwarzgelben to adjust to this approach. First-half chances were at a premium, even if the BVB easily danced around Manuel Baums 3-2-2-2 with crisp passing and dribbles. Meunier and Guerreiro switched their point of attack to give the former the fixture's first shot on goal in the 16th. A cracking Dahoud distance effort kissed the top of the crossbar in the 32nd.
The hosts were finally able to break the deadlock ten minutes after the restart. A beautifully designed set piece saw Brandt work the ball back to Guerreiro after a triangulated short corner. Schalke keeper Frederick Rønnow did extremely well to stop the ensuing shot, but could do nothing as Akanji poked home the rebound.
Six minutes later, Sancho and Erling Haaland would combine a manner reminiscent of their twin-speed-demon goal in the first round. Sancho simply obliterated the Schalke ranks by fearlessly running towards their last line of defensive. A delicate through ball unleashed Haaland for a deft chip finish.
Haaland would force Rønnow into another point-blank save in the 68th. One minute later, Giovanni Reyna had a goalward-bound effort blocked.
Then third BVB goal resulted from another corner, though this one was a far more basic design. Hummels simply beat Matija Nastasic on an aerial duel to head home in the 78th.
Schalke would not test returning goalkeeper Roman Bürki with anything for the duration. In point of fact, they managed almost nothing offensively for the entire 90 minutes. The Schalke winless streak now extends to 21 league fixtures.