BERLIN (AP) — Erling Haaland ended his four-game scoreless run to help Borussia Dortmund beat Werder Bremen 4-1 and cut the distance to the Bundesliga’s Champions League qualification spots on Sunday.
Dortmund profited from fourth-place Eintracht Frankfurt’s defeat to Borussia Mönchengladbach the day before to move four points behind Frankfurt with five games of the season remaining.
“It was a huge chance for us to come back and we managed that today with the win,” Dortmund captain Marco Reus said. “Now we have to keep on it.”
Dortmund, which was knocked out of the Champions League in the quarterfinals by Manchester City on Wednesday, also has a German Cup semifinal match against second-division Holstein Kiel on May 1.
Dortmund coach Edin Terzić made two changes from the team that lost 2-1 to City on Wednesday, bringing in Gio Reyna and Julian Brandt for Emre Can and Ansgar Knauff, who dropped to the bench.
Counterpart Florian Kohfeldt made a host of changes to the team that lost 4-1 at home to Leipzig last weekend.
One of them, Milot Rashica, opened the scoring in the 14th minute, when Maximilian Eggestein played him through with a brilliant pass from midfield. Mats Hummels was unable to stop the speeding Rashica, who fired low inside the far post.
But Reyna equalized with a thunderous shot inside the top right corner from just outside the penalty area in the 29th — his fourth league goal of the season and first since Dec. 12 — shortly before Bremen’s Kevin Möhwald conceded a penalty for a foul on Reus.
Haaland duly scored from the spot in the 34th. It was his first goal in April.
Haaland will hardly get an easier finish for his second goal four minutes later, when Bremen’s defense failed to deal with Reyna’s cross and left the tall forward completely free at the far post to tap in.
The Norwegian might have had a hat trick but Bremen goalkeeper Jiri Pavlenka got his fingertips to his shot early in the second half, and he had a late goal ruled out for offside.
Theodor Gebre Selassie was unable to stop Hummels’ header from a corner crossing the line in the 87th.
Eggestein’s effort off the post was closest the visitors got in the second half.
Sunday’s other Bundesliga game between Mainz and Hertha Berlin was called off due to a COVID-19 outbreak at Hertha.
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This story has been corrected to show that Haaland’s first goal was in the 34th minute, not 24th.