Borussia Dortmund 6 Bayer Leverkusen 2: Late flurry embarrasses visitors and leaves Schmidt on the brink
Borussia Dortmund obliterated Bayer Leverkusen with a late flurry to win 6-2 in a thrilling encounter at Signal Iduna Park, piling the pressure on Roger Schmidt and capitalising on RB Leipzig's slip-up.
Dortmund looked to be in for a nervous finish after Wendell scored a stunning free-kick to leave Leverkusen just a goal behind their hosts with 16 minutes to go, but Christian Pulisic, Andre Schurrle and Raphael Guerreiro then went on to score for the hosts to clinch an emphatic win and make the most of Leipzig's 2-2 draw at Augsburg on Friday.
The hosts looked like scoring every time they attacked and were fully deserving of their early lead through Ousmane Dembele, before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was decisive in doubling their tally just before the half-hour mark.
Kevin Volland pulled one back at the start of the second half, though their momentum swiftly diminished and Dortmund scored again 21 minutes from the end, Aubameyang bundling over the line for his 21st league goal of the season.
Wendell curled in a fine set-piece shortly after, but their admirable fightback was ended late on by Pulisic, Schurrle and Guerreiro, as Dortmund secured a third successive league win in stunning fashion and left Leverkusen trailing them by 13 points with Champions League qualification looking unikely.
There was no sign of Leverkusen's recent struggles easing during the early exchanges as they found themselves trailing after six minutes, Dembele finding the bottom-left corner from 20 yards after Charles Aranguiz inadvertently chested the ball to him.
Leverkusen grew into the match and saw plenty of the ball.
But they looked far less threatening in attack than their hosts, who had Dembele in fine form, and he nearly scored his second 25 minutes in, terrorising Omer Toprak before testing Bernd Leno from a difficult position.
Dortmund did score again from the resulting corner, though, as Aubameyang smashed home from close range after Marc Bartra's header deflected off Tin Jedvaj.
Marco Reus' departure with an apparent hamstring injury just before the break brought the first half to a disappointing close for Dortmund, and their start to the second half was even worse.
Volland did brilliantly when played up the left flank, as he shrugged off the usually physically dominant Sokratis Papastathopoulos and sent an emphatic left-footed finish beyond Roman Burki to give Leverkusen a lifeline.
Aubameyang doubled his tally for the day when heading in from close range in the 69th minute, but Wendell struck a delightful free-kick a few moments later to potentially usher in a tense ending.
But Dortmund responded in truly uncompromising fashion.
Pulisic capped off a flowing move to re-open the two-goal lead, before Schurrle won a penalty after being tripped by Wendell and duly slotted in the spot-kick himself.
Guerreiro then wrapped things up in stoppage time, drilling into the bottom-right corner after Dortmund worked the ball across the penalty area, completing an embarrassing day for the away side.