Borussia Dortmund closed the gap to Bayern Munich to just three points at the top of the Bundesliga as they secured a comfortable 5-1 win over SC Freiburg at Signal Iduna Park.
Freiburg could not get out of first gear, and were behind after just a quarter of an hour as Thomas Meunier rose highest at the near post to head in Julian Brandt’s corner.
The right-back had his second of the game on the half-hour mark, in what was a case of déjà vu for the Freiburg defence. He once again headed in a well delivered Brandt corner to give his side a comfortable advantage.
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The hosts were three goals to the good just before half-time as Erling Haaland finished one well into the bottom corner from inside the box following a quick breakaway.
Complacency crept in during the second half for Dortmund and Freiburg got a goal back as Ermedin Demirovic scored an easy tap-in on the rebound after 62 minutes.
However, it was purely a consolation as Dortmund had their fourth in the 75th minute, with Haaland grabbing his second of the game after great work by Mahmoud Dahoud on the counter.
Dahoud closed out the scoring with four minutes left to play, rifling home a shot into the top corner from 15-yards out.

TALKING POINT - Title race hotting up

Do we at last have a Bundesliga title race? You bet we do. Tonight's win now means that Borussia Dortmund are now just three points behind Bayern Munich having played a game more than their counterparts after Julian Nagelsmann's side lost to Monchengladbach last time out. Bayern have a tough trip to FC Koln on Sunday.

Dortmund's Belgian midfielder Thomas Meunier celebrates scoring during the German first division Bundesliga football match between Borussia Dortmund v SC Freiburg in Dortmund, western Germany on January 14, 2022

Image credit: Getty Images

Dortmund's inconsistency at the end of 2021 could have proved to be their downfall, but Marco Rose's side have responded in their last two fixtures. A dogged display last time out against Eintracht Frankfurt may have papered over the cracks but tonight, Dortmund were back to their best, and completely dominated a Freiburg side in 4th place.

PLAYER OF THE MATCH - Mahmoud Dahoud

It was a very difficult one to call as so many of the Dortmund team turned in outstanding performances, but the 26-year-old midfielder just edges it.
The central midfielder provided the all-important assist for Dortmund's fourth goal, winning the ball back twice in a matter of seconds in the centre of the pitch before helping his side execute the turnover clinically. He threaded in Erling Haaland with a slick through ball to give his team-mate yet another brace in a Dortmund shirt.

Mahmoud Dahoud umringt von Erling Haaland und Thomas Meunier

Image credit: Getty Images

He also got on the score sheet with a fantastic effort from just inside the box, which is his second goal in successive league games for his side.
In addition to his direct goal involvements, Dahoud made two key passes, and three successful tackles.

PLAYER RATINGS

Borussia Dortmund: Kobel 6, Meunier 9, Can 6, Hummels 7, Guerreiro 6, Bellingham 8, Dahoud 9, Brandt 8, Malen 7, Haaland 9, Reus 7. Subs: Akanji 6, Schulz 7, Wolf 6, Hazard 6, Witsel 6.
SC Freiburg: Uphoff 5, Kubler 5, Lienhart 5, Gulde 5, Gunter 6, Grifo 5, Hofler 6, Haberer 6, Sallai 7, Holer 6, Woo-Yeong 6. Subs: Weisshaupt 5, Schade 7, Keitel 6, Petersen 6, Demirovic 7.

KEY MOMENTS

29’ - GOAL! Meunier has a brace! Dortmund get three consecutive corners and strike with the third! The Belgian has an unlikely brace! Meunier is found by Brandt and fires in yet another header to double his side's advantage!
45+1' - GOAL! Bellingham does well again to win the ball and Dortmund break with a three-on-three situation. The Englishman plays in Haaland to his right, and the Norwegian's two-game goal drought is over! He curls one in well into the bottom corner to give his side a comfortable cushion at half-time.
75' - GOAL! Great play by Dahoud to nick the ball not once, but twice, before driving forward on the break. The midfielder plays in Erling Haaland, who does the rest and finishes well to get another brace for Dortmund! That's his 15th league goal of the season!

KEY STATS

- Thomas Meunier is only the second player to score a brace following corner kicks for Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga (since det. data collection began in 2004-05). Previously, only Mats Hummels had managed to do so in October 2020 versus Bielefeld.
- Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland has scored in each of his last eight Bundesliga matches at home, previously only Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had managed such a scoring streak for Dortmund (11 home matches between 2015 and 2016).
- Erling Haaland is the scorer of Borussia Dortmund’s 2000th goal at home in the Bundesliga. Dortmund are only the second club to have reached that mark in the history of the competition after FC Bayern (2629).
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