BERLIN (Reuters) – Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund scored three times in seven minutes on Saturday to demolish lowly Hanover 96 5-1 and move nine points clear at the top of the table.
Dortmund captain Marco Reus hit the post and Raphael Guerreiro also went close in the first half before Achraf Hakimi thundered in to give the hosts the lead in the 24th minute.
The Morocco international set up Reus for his 12th league goal of the season in the 60th minute before Dortmund turned on the afterburners, scoring twice more, through Mario Goetze two minutes later and Guerreiro in the 67th, to leave the Hanover defence in tatters.
“It was a very difficult first half for us,” said Dortmund coach Lucien Favre. “After the break and our second goal it all became easier.
“We will now enjoy the win today and tomorrow will start focusing on the next game because we have very busy weeks coming up (with the German Cup and the Champions League).”
Marvin Bakalorz snatched a consolation goal for the visitors in the 86th minute after a superb solo run and a deflected effort before Axel Witsel completed Dortmund’s win in the 90th.
The Ruhr valley club, who take on Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League next month, are now on 48 points, nine ahead of Borussia Moenchengladbach, who beat Augsburg 2-0, and Bayern Munich, who host VfB Stuttgart on Sunday.
Hanover are stuck in 17th place, with coach Andre Breitenreiter on the brink of departure after failing earlier this week to get the backing of the club board beyond Saturday’s game.
“My players gave everything they had,” Breitenreiter said. “For an hour we played a really good away game. For everything else we will see in the coming days.”
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Toby Davis and Clare Fallon)