Haller helps Dortmund thump Gladbach to stay on Bayern's heels
A stunning first-half performance from Sebastien Haller helped Borussia Dortmund move back within a point of Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich with two matches remaining after a 5-2 thrashing of Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday.
After Bayern demolished Schalke 6-0 earlier in the day, Dortmund struck four times in the opening 32 minutes against Gladbach, with Haller having a hand in each of the goals.
Haller unleashed a shot after five minutes, with Donyell Malen pouncing on the rebound, scoring his eighth goal in his last eight matches. Haller was then brought down in the box, with England teenager Jude Bellingham converting from the spot to double Dortmund's lead.
Haller got a goal of his own just three minutes later, superbly backheeling in a cross from Malen. The Dutchman set up Haller again shortly after, giving Dortmund a 4-0 lead.
Gladbach's Ramy Bensebaini, who is rumoured to be headed to Dortmund next season, converted a penalty with 15 minutes remaining and Lars Stindl curled in another for the visitors, but US forward Gio Reyna scored a fifth to seal the result.
The victory kept Dortmund right behind Bayern, who recorded their biggest win under Thomas Tuchel by putting six goals past struggling Schalke.
Veteran Bayern captain Thomas Mueller slotted in after 21 minutes, his first goal in eight matches.
Joshua Kimmich doubled Bayern's lead shortly after, converting a penalty despite losing his footing after Jamal Musiala copped an arm in the box.
Serge Gnabry added two more early in the second half, with French teenager Mathys Tel also scoring before Noussair Mazraoui chalked up his first goal in Bayern colours.
"We made a step in the right direction -- our buried self confidence is coming back," said Tuchel.
"But there's no reason for euphoria, we'll be tested again on Saturday (against RB Leipzig)."
The loss leaves Schalke, who had climbed out of the relegation places for the first time since September with last week's win at Mainz, in the relegation playoff spot.
- Union 'keep dreaming' -
Union Berlin solidified their hopes of a first Champions League appearance, leapfrogging RB Leipzig into third and going three clear of fifth-placed Freiburg with a 4-2 home win over the Black Forest side.
Union set up the victory with a first-half blitz, Sheraldo Becker scoring twice in two minutes after Kevin Behrens opened the scoring with five minutes gone.
Freiburg's Manuel Gulde pulled one back 10 minutes into the second half and a comeback looked on when Vincenzo Grifo chipped in from the spot with 20 minutes remaining.
Becker however snuffed out the visitors' hopes, collecting the ball on the break and finding an unmarked Aissa Laidouni who knocked in Union's fourth.
"The fans can keep dreaming," said an elated Union coach Urs Fischer. "We had to go for it today".
Eintracht Frankfurt won their first game in 11 tries despite coach Oliver Glasner's stadium ban, thrashing Mainz 3-0 at home, thanks to goals from Daichi Kamada, Aurelio Buta and Randal Kolo Muani.
Frankfurt, who midweek decided to part ways with Glasner at season's end despite the Europa League holders reaching the German Cup final, responded in emphatic fashion to go above their derby rivals.
Bochum took advantage of Schalke's poor result in Munich, beating Augsburg 3-2 at home to lift themselves past the Royal Blues out of the relegation places by a single point.
Wolfsburg responded from last week's 6-0 thrashing by Dortmund to beat Hoffenheim 2-1 at home, moving into sixth place, the Europa Conference League spot.
The loss leaves Hoffenheim just two points clear of the relegation spots with two games to play.