Borussia Dortmund easily beat Ukrainian side Karpaty Lviv, meaning the Bundesliga leaders could still progress in the Europa League. The result sets up a showdown in Seville which Dortmund must win to move on.
Dortmund's Hummels scores his side's second goal with his head
Borussia Dortmund went into Thursday's match against Karpaty Lviv with a very clear task in front of them: with two Europa League group stage matches remaining, the German side had to win both to stand any chance of progressing to the knockout stages.
Dortmund's Shinji Kagawa of Japan celebrates his opening goal
And the runaway Bundesliga league leaders, who have had no problems racking up victories in domestic competition, jumped the first hurdle with ease, dispatching Karpaty Lviv 3-0 on home turf.
Even in inclement weather conditions, Lviv, who have no points to their name after five successive Europa League defeats, couldn't really compete with Dortmund's class.
Dortmund went ahead from an early corner after five minutes through Japanese off-season bargain Shinji Kagawa - and had several chances to extend their lead in the opening half.
"The first half an hour was outstanding," Dortmund's sporting director Michael Zorc said during the half-time break. "But what I didn't like is that we had four of five golden opportunities and yet the score's still 1-0. That's a joke."
Paris St. Germain play their part
Zorc's concerns were soothed shortly after the break, when Mats Hummels put Dortmund two ahead in the 49th minute, heading home a swirling free-kick from Russian midfielder Nuri Sahin.
And Sahin secured a hat trick of assists in the dying minutes of the match, setting up Polish striker Robert Lewandowski, who finished coolly with his left foot.
Meanwhile, in France, group J leaders Paris St. Germain played their part in keeping Dortmund's European dream afloat, beating Sevilla 4-2 and setting up what is effectively a knock-out match between the Spanish and German sides. Had Sevilla won Thursday's game in Paris, Dortmund's prospects would have been far more bleak.
"Now we have the 'final' we were hoping for," Dortmund goal-scorer Shinji Kagawa said after the game, on hearing news of the day's other result. "It's nice that our fate is now back in our own hands."
Dortmund, who are currently third in Group J, face second-placed Sevilla in Spain on December 15. While Dortmund must win, for Sevilla, who still have a one point advantage over their German adversaries, a draw would suffice to move into the knockout stage.
"We want to play our very best football in Seville, otherwise we'll have no chance of winning," German international Mats Hummels told reporters on the snow-covered pitch in Dortmund. "It will be an interesting game."
Author: Mark Hallam (dpa, sid)
Editor: Holly Fox