PARIS - NOVEMBER 04: Kevin Grosskreutz of Borussia during the UEFA Europa League Group J match between Paris Saint Germain and Borussia Dortmund at the Parc des Princes on November 4, 2010 in Paris, France. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Three Goals In Five Minutes Take Borussia Dortmund To 3-1 Victory Over Bayer Leverkusen

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Papiss Cissé Saves Freiburg Again, Late Sascha Riether Equalizer Gives Wolfsburg A Point Against Bayern Munich

Stuttgart claimed an important victory and there was drama in Hamburg and Wolfsburg during an afternoon of surprises in Germany, although the biggest winners of the day were Jürgen Klopp's Borussia Dortmund.  Victory against Leverkusen put BVB thirteen points clear at the top, and Stuttgart's hard-fought one-nil win over Mainz ensures that the gap between first and second will remain at least twelve points even if Hannover win in Frankfurt tomorrow.  The three points also move Bruno Labbadia's side up from seventeenth into sixteenth, three points from safety.

Bayern Munich's away troubles continued in Wolfsburg as they conceded an equalizer in the eighty-sixth minute, meaning they've kept just one clean sheet on their travels this season.  Philipp Lahm missed a penalty for Bayern and Thomas Kraft saved another from Grafite, but even a sixty-five minute spell from Arjen Robben wasn't enough for the champions, who remain in fifth.

Sixth-place Freiburg had the chance to leapfrog Bayern with a win against St. Pauli at the Millerntor-Stadion, but the hosts managed to score twice and Freiburg only escaped with a point thanks to a pair of goals from Papiss Cissé, his fourteenth and fifteenth in the league this season.  Borussia Mönchengladbach started the second half of the season off with an unexpected victory in Nürnberg; an early goal from Roman Neustäder was the difference after Javier Pinola's late penalty was saved by Christofer Heimeroth.  A stoppage-time goal from Torsten Frings was just enough to give Werder Bremen a win against Hoffenhiem, only a few minutes after it had looked like Boris Vukcevic had given the visitors a share of the points.

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Bayer Leverkusen Vs. Borussia Dortmund: Full Time, Kevin Grosskreutz Stars In BVB Win

An even first half that ended 0-0 led to an incredibly uneven second half, dominated by Borussia Dortmund in their match away to Bayer Leverkusen at the BayArena. Kevin Grosskreutz was the man who starred in BVB's early second half romp, scoring two goals and notching an assist in a six minute period. 

The first goal came from a defensive error, when Bayer defender Daniel Schwaab completely misplayed the ball in his own penalty area off of a throw-in. The ball then fell to the left winger Grosskreutz who scored an easy tap in goal to put the visitors up 1-0 in the 49th minute. He would extend his side's lead just three minutes later, scoring on a much classier finish, created by a Robert Lewandowski header after a poor giveaway by Rene Adler. It would take another three minutes for Grosskreutz to create the third goal, winning a 50-50 challenge that resulted in the ball falling to the feet of Mario Goetze in space. The young attacking midfielder, starting in place of Shinji Kagawa, who is away at the 2011 Asian Cup, picked up the ball and finished between the legs of Adler from ten yards out. Between the 49th and 55th minutes, Dortmund scored three goals to go up 3-0, all created or scored by Grosskreutz.

Bayer striker Stefan Kiessling added a consolation goal in the 80th minute, but by this point, Bayer had no way back into the match. Between the third goal and Kiessling's goal, BVB were confident enough to try all kinds of tricks, just toying with a Bayer side that had their belief completely shattered.

With this win, Borussia Dortmund now has an incredible 13 point cushion on top of the German Bundesliga. It seems very improbable that anyone will catch them at this point, and it's only January.

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Bayer Leverkusen Vs. Borussia Dortmund: Stefan Kiessling Brings Bayer Within Two, 3-1 After 80 Minutes

The commentator wants to keep us involved, noting "Borussia scored three goals in five minutes. Why can't Leverkusen do the same?"

Because Bayer's playing BVB, not themselves, which means they have a lot of work to do before Stefan Kiessling's 80th minute goal proves a seed. Regardless, the Bayer attacker has gotten the home side on the scoresheet, stabbing home a cross in the 80th minute to make it 1-3, Dortmund.

Though Kiessling's name is on the scoresheet, right back Daniel Schwaab deserves credit for creating it. The defender raced down the right side, crossing from 12 yards before touch. It was a perfect ball, targeting the far post, bending back into the oncoming Kiessling as the striker made for goal. Kiessling kicked out with his right leg and punch the ball into Roman Weidenfeller's goal.

Kieslling appeared to pay the price for his efforts, colliding with the post and spending the next minute recovering rather than celebrating. Replays showed Kiessling's right leg come under his body before hitting the woodwork shin first. Fortunately, the German international was up and ready by the ensuing kick-ogg.

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Bayer Leverkusen Vs. Borussia Dortmund: Mario Goetze Adds A Third To Turn Momentum Swing Into Slaughter

Borussia Dortmund have now officially blown their game against Bayer Leverkusen wide open, scoring a third goal in just six minutes. This one came from Mario Goetze, and while the finish from Goetze and the effort from his teammates have to be applauded, it has to be mentioned that Bayer completely fell asleep, obviously lacking in focus after going behind by two goals following a dead even first half.

Kevin Grosskreutz created the goal by winning a 50-50 challenge, knocking the ball out into an unoccupied space about 30 yards from goal, on the left side of the pitch. Goetze was the man in the best position to get onto that ball and ran at it, completely unmarked. He ran 20 yards with the ball untouched and finished well between the legs of Rene Adler from very close range, inside of 10 yards. After 45 minutes, the score was 0-0. After 55 minutes, Dortmund had a 0-3 lead. On television, their away fans are extremely audible, out-singing the Bayer fans who have been stunned silent.

In reaction to the instant 3-0 slaughtering that his team suffered, Bayer manager Jupp Heynckes decided to make three substitutions. Tranquillo Barnetta, Arturo Vidal, and Eren Derdiyok have entered for Sidney Sam, Lars Bender, and Patrick Helmes. Those changes are about as close to like for like as Bayer could have possibly made and doesn't indicate a change in formation or a significant change in tactics, other than fresh bodies with slightly different skill sets.

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Bayer Leverkusen Vs. Borussia Dortmund: Kevin Grosskreutz Completes Brace, Puts BVB Up 2-0

Minutes after opening the scoring at the BayArena, Kevin Grosskreutz has scored a second, beating Rene Adler to the `keeper's left post to make it 2-0, Borussia Dortmund. A chance stemming from a Roman Weidenfeller long ball gave the the 22-year-old midfielder an easy right-footed finish, putting Bayer Leverkusen in danger of falling 13 points back of Borussia.

The play started as an innocent ball from the Borussia `keeper, but after Robert Lewandowski won an aerial challenge against Stefan Reinartz, Grosskreutz was about to get in behind Manuel Freidrich, the veteran defender out-of-position to place the resulting ball. Grosskreuta collected the ball, moved five yards into the box before opening up onto the far post finish, giving Rene Adler little chance to maintain the one goal deficit.

Now past the hour mark, Borussia has just added a third, the update coming in moments. The Bundesliga leaders are leading in Leverkusen, 3-0.

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Bayer Leverkusen Vs. Borussia Dortmund: Kevin Grosskreutz Gives BVB 1-0 Lead

In the build-up to halftime, both Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen were pressing forward and creating chances. There was nothing completely clear cut, but as the teams walked into the locker room for halftime at 0-0, it was obvious that it wouldn't stay that way for long. Dortmund were the team to break the deadlock right after the break.

Kevin Grosskreutz, BVB's left winger was the man who found the back of the net for the visitors in the 49th minute. It would be unfair to say we saw it coming, but it seemed like a goal was on the way at some point for sure. The nature of the goal was a little less than spectacular, though. Off of a throw in, Bayer goalkeeper Daniel Schwaab completely whiffed when he attempted to clear the ball, leaving it to Grosskreutz. The winger had the goal at his mercy and plenty of time, and he finished easily.

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Bayer Leverkusen Vs. Borussia Dortmund: Pre-Match Primer

Neither Bayer Leverkusen's lineup, nor Borussia Dortmund's has any crazy surprises, but fans of these teams and football in general will be happy to see Michael Ballack return to the bench for Bayer and Lucas Barrios return to the bench for BVB. Neither is fit enough to play 90 minutes yet, but both should return to their teams' starting lineups shortly. Unfortunately, this season's breakout star in the Bundesliga, Shinji Kagawa, is injured and unable to play today. Despite the absence of those three players from the starting lineups, both teams field extremely strong sides.

Bayer Leverkusen lineup (4-4-2): Adler ; Reinartz, Freidrich, Schwaab, Castro ; Augusto, Rolfes, Bender, Sam ; Kiessling, Helmes

Borussia Dortmund lineup (4-2-3-1): Weidenfeller ; Schmelzer, Piszczek, Hummels, Subotic ; Sahin, Bender ; Grosskreutz, Goetze, Blaszczykowski ; Lewandowski

Those Polish names are nasty! BVB's setup and style should allow them to have more of the possession, but Simon Rolfes does have the ability to control a game on his day. Even if Dortmund are successful in dictating play for most of the game, their attacking players are the kind of guys who can make goals out of absolutely nothing. Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski is probably the player to watch that sticks out the most to me. He's looked competent in his substitute appearances, and he obviously looked more than competent in Poland before BVB bought him, but he's yet to have a real breakout performance. Lewandowski is a good player, but is he good enough to start on a consistent basis for a title contender? It's time to find out.

The game kicks off at 2:30 ET and we'll have live coverage right here, but you can catch the video at ESPN3.com.

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Borussia Dortmund's Visit To Bayer Leverkusen Ushers In Bundesliga Return

Debate all you want about the pros and cons of the Bundesliga's winter break, but it sure is a buzzkill. Granted, Germany's first division hasn't featured an exciting race at the top, but that's exactly why we missed it. Borussia Dortmund has been destroying their competition, 10 points ahead of second place at the season's half-way mark.  At 2:30 p.m. Eastern on Friday, Borussia visits one of their pursuers, ringing in the season's second half at BayArena against Bayer Leverkusen.

Should Bayer hand BVB their third loss, they'd be withing seven points, and sporting the league's second best attack along with an undefeated streak born in October, Jupp Heynckes's squad has reason for optimism, particularly given the result of the clubs' first meeting. Then, on the season's first match day, Bayer went to Dortmund, got early goals from Tranquillo Barnetta and Renato Augusto to post a 0-2 win, after which Borussia won 14 out of 15 matches.

Set to kick-off at the bottom of the hour, the match starts the comeback weekend for German fussball - nine league matches putting the end to a painfully long winter break. You can read about the rest of the weekend match-ups here (thanks to Ben Schneider), but as for today, SB Nation Soccer will be bringing you blow-by-blow commentary on the happenings in Leverkusen (also available on ESPN3.com).

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