Borussia Dortmund forward Erling Haaland ended his Bundesliga goal drought with a double after teenager Tom Rothe opened the scoring on his league debut as they thumped VfL Wolfsburg 6-1 in a ruthless display at the Signal Iduna Park stadium on Saturday.
Axel Witsel, Manuel Akanji and Emre Can also scored as Marco Rose’s second-placed side closed the gap on Bayern Munich before next weekend’s Der Klassiker, although the leaders can restore a nine-point advantage at Arminia Bielefeld on Sunday.
Speaking to reporters later, Rose hailed Norwegian Haaland for playing despite the pain of his leg injury.
Dortmund went ahead in the 24th-minute as 17-year-old Rothe met a corner with a glancing header that crept in, shortly after home goalkeeper Gregor Kobel had produced a brilliant save to deny Wolfsburg’s Lukas Nmecha at the other end.
Witsel doubled Dortmund’s advantage two minutes later with a neat left-footed finish inside the box following a quick counter, before Akanji made it 3-0 by guiding a free kick from Marco Reus past Koen Casteels in the 28th.
Can heaped more misery on Wolfsburg’s leaky defence with a fourth from distance after 35 minutes before Haaland ended his five-match goalless run in the league by sweeping home a pass by Reus in the 38th following a fine collective effort.
“I think we had issues ourselves in the first few minutes. However, we took the lead and we came into the game gradually. We found better options and were more ruthless,” Reus said.
Dortmund continued to threaten after the break and Haaland doubled his tally with a blistering effort after 54 minutes following another slick team move before Wolfsburg pulled one back through Ridle Baku nine minutes from the end.