It was all too easy for Borussia Dortmund as they overcame Arminia Bielefeld 3-1 at the SchucoArena.
Goals from Emre Can from the penalty spot and a screamer from Mats Hummels on the stroke of half time were enough to down the struggling hosts, who had put up a valiant fight for half an hour.
Bielefeld played out of their skins in the opening exchanges, attacking their visitors with fierce challenges, direct passing and running, and neat interplay in the channels, with positional rotation coming from Edmilson Fernandes and Alessandro Schopf.
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They could have, and perhaps should have, been ahead on 18 minutes when Janni Serra exploited a heavy touch from Marin Pongrancic, and as he bore down on goal, Manuel Akanji was alert to rid Dortmund of the danger temporarily, and Hummels was alive to the situation to stop Robin Hack from nodding into an unguarded net.
They perhaps didn't create the chances they should have done from their pressure and dominance in the opening moments, and it cost them dear.
Against the run of play, Donyell Malen was felled by Cedric Brunner, with Can dispatching the spot kick to put die Schwarzgelben in front, and undeservedly so on the balance of play.
That goal was cruel on the home side - and it took the wind out of their sails; they lost their heads and their coolness, and when a ricochet from a Thorgan Hazard corner came out to Hummels, no-one knew that the centre-back would score a volley like that, right in the corner giving Stefan Ortega no chance whatsoever.
It was three after the break: Jude Bellingham - who else - wrote himself onto the scoresheet with an incredible mazy run and chip to kill of the strugglers, who were never able to really get going again after the initial knockdown of the first goal.
Fabian Klos scored a consolation penalty after a tricky run from substitute Patrick Wimmer caught Hummels in a tangle, but it wasn't to be for the Blue Bandits as Dortmund closed out the three points.
Marco Rose's men march on relentlessly; they remain second in the Bundesliga, one point behind reigning champions Bayern Munich, and if they can perform like this without talismanic striker Erling Haaland, just imagine what they could be like with him.

Dortmund's German midfielder Emre Can (3L) celebrates with teammates scoring during the German first division Bundesliga football match Arminia Bielefeld v BVB Borussia Dortmund in Bielefeld

Image credit: Getty Images


For all Bielefeld's early promise, they benefited from some sloppy play in possession from the visitors.
A number of times Dortmund players were caught napping on the ball, and against better opposition, they may well have been punished for it.
Rose's side did well to weather the home storm in the early stages of the game, and ultimately had a slice of good fortune as a penalty was awarded in a period of the game whereby they were very much second best.
Julian Brandt and Marco Reus were excellent after the kickstarting goal, picking up dangerous pockets of space as Bellingham became more alive in his movement and passing.
Malen worked hard running the channels and was unlucky not to score early in the first half with an effort from range, and in the opening minutes of the second as his shot on the turn was well saved by Ortega.
With the terrifying presence of Haaland back in the side in the coming gameweeks, Dortmund are really a force to be reckoned with.


Arminia: Ortega 7, Brunner 6, Pieper 6, Nilsson 6, Schopf 7, Prietl 6, Kunze 6, Laursen 6, Fernandes 7, Hack 6, Serra 6, Ramos 6, Klos 6, Wimmer 7, Czyborra 6, Kruger 6.
BVB: Kobel 6, Akanji 7, Pongrancic 6, Hummels 7, Wolf 7, Can 7, Bellingham 8, Hazard 6, Reus 7, Malen 6, Brandt 7, Hitz 6, Tigges 6, Witsel 6, Reinier 6, Maloney 6.


What can't this kid do.
In that opening half hour he was quiet, and in a sense, he was poor in possession.
But as soon as Dortmund got that shot in the arm they needed from the penalty, the teenage sensation came alive.
He was all-action: tough tackling, elegant passing and moving, and to cap it all off, a finish with such finesse and class that you'd have thought it would come from the boot of a seasoned 30-year-old.
A truly exceptional talent, who's only going to get better.


8': Good save! Lovely move through the centre of the park from Dortmund, starting from Bellingham, through Reus and into Malen who lets fly, but Ortega pulls off an acrobatic stop to deny the Dutchman from distance. Nothing doing from the resulting corner, and Dortmund rebuild from the back again.
18': What a melee! Pongrancic overplays the ball, with Serra capitalising on a heavy touch, and as the striker bore down on goal, Akanjii was across brilliantly. He clattered his keeper Kobel, who is down receiving treatment, and Mats Hummels does well to stop Hack trying to nod in the loose ball!
30': PENALTY! Reus' free kick from deep in the right-hand channel is poor, and the hosts can clear... but hold on a second! Malen's been felled, the referee points to the spot! Brunner the guilty party, a clumsy challenge, and for all their hard work, Bielefeld could have undone themselves here. // GOAL! Emre Can of all people steps up, and with a stuttering run-up, he coolly slots home, sending Ortega the wrong way. For all their pressure and bravery, Arminia Bielefeld find themselves 1-0 down, and Frank Kramer is furiously protesting to the fourth official.
34': They need to calm themselves down here, Bielefeld. They've been on the end of a controversial decision... and they're playing themselves into trouble... Wolf is sent through down the right by Can, and his cross-shot is parried by Ortega, and Malen nor Reus can convert the rebound!
45': GOAL!! Hazard's delivery. initially in towards Akanji, and it comes out for HUMMELSSSS!!!! WOW! What a finish from the veteran! A fantastic volley giving Ortega no chance. 2-0.
68': Wimmer... does well... he gets the shot away! Strong hands from Hitz to preserve the clean sheet.
72': GOALLL!!! He is simply breathtaking. Jude Bellingham at his very best: weaving in and out of challenges, and the tidiest of dinks over Ortega for 3-0. Take nothing away from the close control and touch of Marco Reus, but this boy is something special.
87': PENALTY! Hummels' challenge on Wimmer, and the referee has no hesitations // GOAL!! Klos puts it away confidently. 1-3.


Today's defeat was Bielefeld's fourth in a row against Borussia Dortmund.
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