Berlin (AFP) – Erling Haaland netted twice Friday as second-placed Borussia Dortmund trimmed Bayern Munich’s lead at the top of the Bundesliga to three points with a 5-1 romp at home to Freiburg.
Bayern are away to Cologne on Saturday and Dortmund took the chance to make up ground in the table as the Bavarians remain on course for a tenth straight German league title.
“Last year there was still talk about the Bundesliga becoming boring – and rightly so, because we weren’t on the same level (as Bayern). Now we’re within three points,” said Dortmund coach Marco Rose.
“We always say that we’d like to bring the (league) trophy to Dortmund, but Bayern are having an excellent season and giving very little away.
“It’s about us focusing on ourselves.”
However, with a release clause in his contract now active, speculation is rife that Haaland will leave Dortmund at the end of this season with Manchester City and Real Madrid reportedly among the top clubs eager to sign him.
Haaland, 21, showed why he is rated one of the world’s best young strikers with clinical finishing for his goals either side of half-time.
Thomas Meunier scored with two headers before Haaland scored just before the break as Dortmund charged into a 3-0 half-time lead at Signal Iduna Park.
Ermedin Demirovic pulled a goal back for Freiburg, but Haaland, who had failed to scored in his two previous games, made sure of the three points by firing in his second goal with 16 minutes left.
Having played a supporting role in both of Haaland’s goals, Dortmund midfielder Mahmoud Dahoud was rewarded with one of his own late on.
With the visitors’ defence focused on marking Haaland at corners, Meunier took advantage by twice outfoxing his marker to head the ball into the net.
Dortmund needed late goals by Jude Bellingham and Dahoud to win at Eintracht Frankfurt last Saturday and the pair combined to create the third goal for Haaland just before half time.
Dahoud poked the ball away from Freiburg’s Nicolas Hofler and Bellingham charged clear, slipping the ball to Haaland who flicked his shot past Freiburg goalkeeper Benjamin Uphoff.
Freiburg scored their consolation goal when Roland Sallai’s shot was parried into the path of Bosnia striker Ermedin Demirovic, who fired past diving Dortmund goalkeeper Gregor Kobel.
However Dahoud again made his midfield presence count when he won the ball and fed Haaland, who slotted his shot past Uphoff.
Haaland celebrated with a trademark leap and four air kisses of gratitude on the cheeks of Dahoud, who curled in Dortmund’s late fifth goal having been left unmarked in the area.