The champions never looked troubled in collecting three valuable points, running out comfortable winners thanks to strikes from Reus, Gotze, Santana, Lewandowski and KubaBorussia Dortmund on the way to a crushing victory that never looked in question, as they strolled to a 5-0 triumph over Werder Bremen in Nuri Sahin's first game back at his old club.
Marco Reus looped in a free-kick in the opening minutes and Jurgen Klopp's charges never released their grip on proceedings, as further goals from Mario Gotze, Felipe Santana, Robert Lewandowski and Jakub Blaszczykowski ensured three points for the Bundesliga holders.
In desperate need of three points to keep up the chase on Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen at the Bundesliga summit, Dortmund could not have asked for a better start. Lewandowski was felled on the edge of the box with eight minutes on the clock and Reus stepped up to float a delightful free-kick into the top right corner, with Sebastian Mielitz immobile between the posts.
Werder showed plenty of industry and fight during the first half, but struggled to translate their exertions into clear chances during the first 45 minutes. Nils Petersen had one of the few opportunities that fell to the hosts with a shot that was dragged wide of the upright, but otherwise it was BVB who continued on top in the match's early stages.
The visitors' rapid attacking was giving the Bremen backline lots of troubl, and the visitors went 2-0 up inside the opening 20 minutes. Kevin Grosskreutz did well to make space after receiving a lovely ball from Ilkay Gundogan, and his pass found Gotze on the edge of the area. The youngster received a stroke of good fortune as his shot rebounded off a Bremen boot, looping over a despairing Mielitiz and into the roof of the net.
Dortmund finished the half in clear control and Mats Hummels was left wondering what might have been as he burst through the defence only to lay off a wayward pass when the goal beckoned. Bremen had not been outplayed, but BVB's clinical finishing in front of goal handed the champions a decisive advantage as they went in for the break.
The second half was barely three minutes old when the game was effectively ended as a contest. Petersen failed to keep track of Santana at an early corner and paid dearly, as the Brazilian connected with the cross and headed home to further extend Dortmund's advantage. The striker tried to make amends with a strong run down the right-hand side, but he blasted a shot well wide as Bremen looked to do the impossible and find a way back into the match.
Roman Weidenfeller was finally called into action one hour in when he tipped over a header from Petersen, but it was otherwise plain sailing for the away team, who enjoyed a three-goal cushion. The Werderaner continued to battle vialiantly in their efforts to get something out of the game, but there was no way through and Dortmund strolled to a comfortable, impressive victory to keep themselves in the Bundesliga hunt, Lewandowski pitching in with a simple tap-in 10 minutes from time to cap an impressive individual display.
One of the evening's biggest ovations was reserved right at the end for Sahin, who came on in his first appearance since returning from Real Madrid, but Dortmund were not finished. Fellow substitute Blaszczykowski added insult to injury with another goal, finishing powerfully with Werder in disarray.
Jurgen Klopp's men remain in third place after Bayern and Leverkusen's victories earlier in the day, still 12 points from the summit currently occupied by Die Roten. Bremen, meanwhile, hold on to 12th, although they could slip down depending on Sunday's results in round 18.