Borussia Dortmund showed that they mean business in the top four race by cruising to a comfortable 3-0 win over SC Freiburg thanks to goals from Donyell Malen (x2) and Niclas Füllkrug.
An incisive and commanding performance set the tone for Borussia Dortmund's most comfortable win of the season so far, as they claimed a 3-0 win over SC Freiburg. Donyell Malen scored a first-half brace for the Black and Yellows, before Niclas Füllkrug headed home a third to make sure of the three points.
Freiburg never looked like disrupting the Friday evening plans of Borussia Dortmund and the 81,000+ fans at the Westfalenstadion. And Edin Terzic will no doubt be delighted with the way his side played over the course of the 90 minutes.
Borussia Dortmund were boosted by the returns of a number of key players, with Gregor Kobel, Julian Ryerson and Marco Reus slotting straight back into the starting XI. While Jadon Sancho, Karim Adeyemi and Julian Brandt all started on the bench.
The game got off to a fairly cagey start, with both teams trying to find their groove after disappointing results on matchday 20. Out of nowhere, Borussia Dortmund managed to take the lead with Donyell Malen firing the ball into the roof of the net under pressure from multiple defenders.
Most of the action in the first-half came from the stands as the Borussia Dortmund supporters held up banners and also threw chocolate coins and tennis balls onto the pitch in protest against external investments in the DFL. The protests resulted in a ten-minute stoppage in play, as players and stewards cleared the tennis balls and coins that were thrown onto the pitch.
But Borussia Dortmund still managed to double their lead in the first-half stoppage time, with Malen this time finding the bottom corner after being set up once again by Niclas Füllkrug.
Borussia Dortmund carried forward their momentum into the second-half and played some scintilating attacking football at times. Jamie Bynoe-Gittens, Marco Reus, and Füllkrug all forced saves from Freiburg goalkeeper Noah Atubolu as the home side dominated proceedings.
Birthday boy Füllkrug then put the icing on the cake by heading the ball home after getting on the end of a spectacular cross from Ian Maatsen. Borussia Dortmund managed to see out the win with minimal fuss, making it four wins in their last five games in the Bundesliga.
Much tougher challenges certainly lie in store in the coming weeks, but the performance against Freiburg bodes really well for Borussia Dortmund and their hopes of finishing in the top four this season.