Marco Reus scored twice as Borussia Dortmund leapfrogged Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga table with a convincing 4-0 win over their top-four rivals.
Jadon Sancho scored his first goal for the club to break the deadlock and also provided two assists as Peter Stoger's side bounced back from their 2-0 defeat against Schalke in style.
Reus bagged a second-half brace, sandwiching a goal for Maximilian Philipp, as Dortmund moved up to third place in the battle to secure Champions League football for next season, five points clear of fifth-placed Hoffenheim with three matches remaining.
Leverkusen had lost just once in their last six outings on their arrival at Signal Iduna Park, yet were fortunate not to concede more as a top-of-the-table clash turned into a one-sided rout.
Reus saw a goal chalked off by VAR during an eventful first half that also saw the Germany international fail to convert a penalty, visiting goalkeeper Ramazan Ozcan marking his Leverkusen league debut with the save.
Still, the impressive performance was the perfect riposte from Dortmund, particularly after their fans had aired their frustrations at losing to Schalke with banners prior to kick-off.
Stoger reacted to the disappointing Ruhr derby result by shaking up his team, including handing Sancho his first league start since January.
The England youth international rewarded his manager by breaking the deadlock, though not before he had fluffed a one-on-one opportunity by sending a weak effort too close to Ozcan.
Still, Sancho showed he is a quick learner. Benjamin Henrichs' untimely slip allowed Christian Pulisic's pass to reach his fellow teenager on the left, the forward opening up his body to place the ball into the opposite side of the net, giving Ozcan – starting in place of the injured Bernd Leno - no chance.
Dortmund thought they had doubled their lead when Reus' rocket flew into the roof of the net, only for VAR to correctly rule out the strike after replays showed Philipp was a fraction offside in the build-up.
Reus then squandered a glorious chance to make it 2-0 from the spot, Ozcan keeping out his firmly struck attempt. Leverkusen felt justice was served too, having complained Pulisic had made the most of what little contact there was with Panagiotis Retsos inside the area.
However, it did not take Dortmund long after the break to get the second goal their complete dominance merited.
Having clipped the top of the bar with an audacious attempt from wide on the left, Reus finally scored 10 minutes into the second half, capitalising on Mario Gotze's clever touch to round Ozcan and slot home his fourth league goal of the campaign.
Dortmund's fans had a glimpse into the future with their side's third, defender Manuel Akanji's long pass picking out the run of Sancho, who controlled the ball superbly with the outside of his right foot before teeing up Philipp to slam home.
Sancho also laid on Reus' second, sending over a delightful cross from the left that was headed home at the back post to round out a miserable outing for Leverkusen, who are just two points clear of Hoffenheim and looking nervously over their shoulder.
Key Opta stats:
- Jadon Sancho is the youngest Englishman to score in Bundesliga history (18 years, 27 days).
- Marco Reus scored his 61st goal in the Bundesliga for Dortmund; only seven players have scored more goals in the league for the club than Reus.
- Leverkusen have conceded 10 goals in two games in all competitions for the first time since March 2012 (1-7 v Barcelona, 2-3 v Wolfsburg).
- Dortmund are still unbeaten in nine home games under Peter Stoger in the Bundesliga, collecting 21 of a possible 27 points and having won three consecutive home games without conceding a league goal for the first time since April/May 2015.
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