Borussia Dortmund put the pressure back on Bayern Munich by moving above the Bavarians to the top of the Bundesliga on Saturday night with victory over Schalke in the 139th Ruhr derby.
Robert Lewandowski put the hosts in front in the 16th minute and Feipe Santana added the second after an hour.
The home side were in charge of the game from start to finish and fully deserved to climb to the top of the table for the first time since winning the title last May, and now it is up to Bayern to respond against Mainz tomorrow.
Dortmund appeared keen to put their midweek Champions League disappointment behind them and started brightly with Lucas Barrios put through for their first chance in the 12th minute.
However, the Paraguayan striker was a bit slow on the uptake and he took the ball away from the onrushing Lars Unnerstall, losing the opportunity to score as the Schalke defence was given time to get back.
The Schalke defence was completely absent in the 16th minute, though, when Lewandowski headed Dortmund in front.
He was left in space just seven yards out to head Marcel Schmelzer’s lofted free-kick past Unnerstall, who managed to get a hand to the ball but could only push it into the side of his goal.
Mario Gotze brought a fine save out of an increasingly-busy Unnerstall in the 29th minute with Joel Matip averting the danger before Barrios could pounce on the rebound.
It was therefore quite an achievement for Schalke to go in at the break just one goal behind.
The Royal Blues appeared to be in better shape at the start of the second half with Alexander Baumjohann sending in a few testing crosses from the right.
It was the visitors’ best spell of the game, but Dortmund soon sparked back to life and it was one-way traffic once again after 15 minutes of the half.
Santana doubled their lead when Schalke failed to clear a corner and the ball came back into the six-yard area to Mats Hummels, whose header across goal was met at point-blank range by Barrios.
Unnerstall made an instinctive save to deny the Dortmund striker but the ball broke loose to Santana, who sent it powerfully back past the Schalke goalkeeper.
The only fireworks from Schalke came from their fans and referee Florian Meyer was forced to halt proceedings with 10 minutes left, but all he did was delay the inevitable as Dortmund took victory without taking any risks.