Borussia Dortmund scored three second-half goals as they crushed Eintracht Frankfurt 4-0 in the Bundesliga on Friday to take over second place.
Defender Lukasz Piszczek found space to drill home for the lead in the 33rd minute with the hosts having to stay patient against a hard-working Eintracht.
But the visitors threw in the towel after the restart with Jadon Sancho scoring with a fine run and finish in the 50th and Erling Haaland tapping in four minutes later for his eighth goal in his fifth league game, a Bundesliga record.
Raphael Guerreiro had hit the post with a first-half free kick but he made amends in the 74th, scoring with a powerful shot from 20 metres after a sloppy Eintracht clearance.
Dortmund's dominant performance was exactly what they needed ahead of their Champions League round of 16 first leg against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday, after suffering a 4-3 loss to Bayer Leverkusen last week and a shock German Cup defeat to Werder Bremen 10 days ago.
"It was extremely important to keep a clean sheet today," said Dortmund defender Mats Hummels. "We also did not give them many chances. This was not a clean sheet for the defence but for the entire team."
Emre Can, who has made a big impact with Dortmund since arriving at the end of the winter window, echoed his Germany teammate's sentiments about defence and the importance of the clean sheet.
Can said: "I don't believe we changed a whole lot. I think the coach prepared us really, really well and laid it out to us very clearly pre-match how to run at the opponent and how to press up front. I believe it was also important that we defended as a team and we did that really well.
"We know that in attack we can always do something and if we continue to be as stable defensively then it can turn into something very, very successful.
"We are very focused. This team has an incredible potential. You can just see that. We can always score goals and I can only repeat myself: If we defend as a unit like we did today then it can be big."
The Ruhr valley club have 42 points and are above third-placed RB Leipzig, who host Werder Bremen on Saturday, on goal difference, while also moving within a point of Bayern Munich before the leaders visit Cologne on Sunday.