Erling Haaland scored twice on his return from injury in Borussia Dortmund's 3-1 win over Mainz, as the Bundesliga restarts after the international break.
The win extends Dortmund's winning streak at Signal Iduna Park to nine games, while ensuring that they are the only team in the league to still have a perfect record at home.
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Captain Marco Reus continued his impressive run of form by putting Mainz on the back foot straight away with a thunderous volley from the edge of the box inside the first few minutes.
BVB then continued their dominance without really threatening to increase their lead until a late flurry before half-time that featured not one but two goal line clearances from Mainz, as their captain Moussa Niakhate looked to lead by example.
It was early the second half when Haaland really sprung to life.
Silvan Widmer appeared to elbow the ball when Haaland was controlling it from a corner, but the referee waved play on and Mainz had their own penalty shout on the other end thanks to a bold challenge from Manuel Akanji.
Instead of giving that as a penalty, the VAR officials instructed Daniel Schlager to bring the game back and check his monitor for Widmer's handball, for which he subsequently penalised the Mainz defender and awarded a penalty.
Haaland converted the penalty, then secured a brace with a simple finish in injury time after brilliant skill, strength and vision from Jude Bellingham.
Substitute Jonathan Burkardt pulled a goal back shortly before Dortmund's third when his teammate Niklas Tauer seized on Gregor Kobel's poor pass to help tee him up, but it was too little too late for the visitors.
BVB now go top of the Bundesliga and turn their attention to a trip to Amsterdam on Tuesday for a Champions League encounter with Ajax.
TALKING POINT - Reus fit and firing
Injury problems have constantly hampered Marco Reus' career, causing him to miss out on Germany's 2014 World Cup win as well as large portions of the 14/15, 16/17, 17/18 and 19/20 seasons in particular.
However, over the past two seasons he's only missed two games apiece according to transfermarkt
Furthermore, after not featuring for Germany in 2020, he's back in the squad and has two assists and a goal from his two most recent starts.
Long may it continue!
MAN OF THE MATCH - Jude Bellingham (Dortmund)
It's easy to see why the Dortmund fans absolutely adore Bellingham. Today he completed the most dribbles in the match along with winning the most duels, being fouled the most and creating two chances too, which included his incredible assist for Haaland's injury time goal. Birmingham City's former Head of Academy, Mike Dodds, explained earlier this year
that Bellingham wears the number 22 shirt because he can do it all - he's a four (holding midfielder), an eight (box-to-box) and a ten (scorer and creator), which all add up to 22 - and with today's performance he reminded us why that's a worthy description. If we even needed reminding, that is!
Dortmund: Kobel 5, Akanji 8, Hummels 8, Meunier 8, Schulz 7, Brandt 8, Can 7, Bellingham 9, Reus 8, Malen 6, Haaland 9...Subs: Hazard 6, Pongracic 6, Wolf 5, Witsel N/A, Reinier N/A
Mainz: Zentner 5, Niakhate 7, Bell 5 Widmer 4, Lucoqui 4, Tauer 6, Barreiro 6, Stach 6, Ingvartsen 5, Boetius 6, Onisiwo 5...Subs: Martin 6, Hack 6, Lee 7, Burkardt 7, Papela N/A
3' - GOAL!!! Reus scores against Mainz for the 14th time in his Bundesliga career! Meunier whips in a cross, Stach's clearance is poor and the Dortmund skipper lashes the ball home to give them an early lead.
43' - OFF THE LINE!! Reus' free kick from the left is diverted goalwards with a Haaland header and the Mainz captain Niakhate somehow clears it off the line.
45' - OFF THE LINE AGAIN!! Haaland goes close again but this time Zentner makes the save before multiple attempts from the likes of Bellingham and Malen are somehow cleared too, with VAR confirming that the ball didn't cross the line.
53' - PENALTY GIVEN!! Widmer's arm wasn't far from his body or in a particularly unnatural position, but he did appear to move his arm towards the ball before it struck his elbow.
54' - GOAL!!! Haaland makes it two! Not the best of penalties - fairly low, central and lacking in power - but it won't matter as Zentner dives to his right, allowing Dortmund to extend their lead.
62' - CLOSE!! Barreiro lobs the ball over Dortmund's defence to Onisiwo, who controls the ball beautifully before badly misjudging his attempt to chip Kobel, sending the ball over comfortably over the bar.
66' - OFF THE POST!! Hummels meets Brandt's corner with the back of his head and it ricochets off the post! A couple of Dortmund players almost make it to the rebound but Mainz manage to clear their lines before then.
76' - SAVED!! Boetius almost catches Kobel off guard with a snapshot, but the BVB number one is equal to it with a great save down low to his right!
87' - GOAL!!! Burkardt pulls a late goal back, but is it just a consolation? Kobel tries to be too acute and plays an awful pass that's headed by Tauer to Lee and onto the substitute Burkardt, who pokes the ball past Kobel.
90+4' - GOAL!!! He really is back! Bellingham outmuscles and outpaces Widmer on the left wing before pulling it back for the unmarked Haaland to hit the back of the net with his second goal of the afternoon.
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