Borussia Dortmund have beaten visiting Nuremberg 3-0. The defending champions have scored eight goals and conceded none since the Bundesliga resumed following the winter break.
It was a dominant display for Borussia Dortmund on Friday, when the team soundly defeated their Bavarian opponents and were unlucky not to score a few more.
Jakub "Kuba" Blaszczykowski was the first to break the deadlock in the 18th minute after Timo Gebhart fouled him in the box. The captain of the Polish national team calmly placed his penalty into the bottom right corner of the net, and Dortmund were off the mark.
Just three minutes later, it was Blaszczykowski again. Mario Götze threaded a low cross between to Nuremberg defenders from the right wing, finding Kuba alone in the box to beat goalkeeper Raphael Schäfer for a second time.
Dortmund had several more chances to make it 3-0 against the visitors, most notably through Robert Lewandowski with just under five minutes to go in the first period of play. But the Polish striker's goal from close range was waved offside, and the half finished 2-0.
Dortmund continued to pile the pressure on Nuremberg in the second half, but too many times great passes - often from Götze - were met with inadequate finishing. As the clock ticked closer to 90, it looked as though the match might finish 2-0.
But, in the 88th minute, a Felipe Santana long ball from the back bounced to Marco Reus on the right wing, the German international crossed to the center of the box, and Lewandowski was there to send a powerful finish into the top right corner of the net.
The match finished 3-0, and Dortmund now have scored eight goals in their two games following the winter break and, despite at times looking shaky at the back without the injured Neven Subotic, conceded none. But despite their momentum, the two-time defending champions still have a ways to go if they want to catch Bayern Munich, who remain nine points clear at the top of the Bundesliga table.
It wasn't the beginning that newly-hired Nuremberg coach Michael Wiesinger would have liked. His side have picked up a solitary point from his first two league matches at the helm, and are assured to remain in 15th place through the weekend.
Bundesliga play resumes on Saturday, featuring regional rivalries between Hannover and Wolfsburg and Hamburg against Werder Bremen in the "Nordderby."
Crisis? What crisis? Dortmund and Leverkusen made amends for poor performances in the previous Bundesliga round. Leverkusen beat Zenith St. Petersburg 2-0, while Dortmund crushed Galatasaray 4-0 in Istanbul.
The 2015 Tour de France will involve three countries and lots of mountains, organizers announced Wednesday, unveiling the route of the 102st edition of the race. Next year's action begins in the Dutch city of Utrecht.