Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund edged past Werder Bremen 2-1 on Saturday to open up a nine-point gap that guarantees they will stay top going into the winter break later this month.
Goals from the league’s leading scorer, Paco Alcacer, and Marco Reus earned unbeaten Dortmund their sixth league win in a row.
It put them on 39 points from 15 games, nine clear of Borussia Monchengladbach, who drew 0-0 at Hoffenheim, and champions Bayern Munich, 4-0 winners at Hannover, with two matchdays left until the winter break on Dec. 23.
The unofficial autumn Herbstmeister title, for the team leading the Bundesliga at the halfway mark, may mean little now but 38 of the last 55 sides to earn that accolade have gone on to win the title.
The hosts struck twice in seven minutes to make their intentions clear. Spaniard Alcacer grabbed his 11th goal of the campaign when he headed in after 20 minutes, having earlier hit the post.
Remarkably, it was only the second goal that he has scored as a Dortmund starter, with the other nine coming in his usual substitute role.
Reus then took his tally to 10 with a well-placed shot from a Jadon Sancho assist, the teenager’s seventh of the season.
A sensational effort from Max Kruse into the top corner of Roman Burki’s goal in the 35th minute kept Bremen in the game but their recovery was short-lived as Dortmund retook control while failing to convert some golden scoring chances.