FC Bayern München may be back on the winning path, but leaders Borussia Dortmund continue to hit the right notes - and the goals. Markus Weinzierl was given a torrid introduction as the new VfB Stuttgart coach, as four different players got on the scoreboard for Lucien Favre's dominant side.
The first game as a new coach is always hard, but for new VfB Stuttgart Trainer Markus Weinzierl it was always going to be a real baptism of fire. Just two weeks after the dismissal of Tayfun Korkut, the former Augsburg and Schalke coach was up against high-flying Dortmund. It could not get any tougher.
The new VfB coach would make four changes to Korkut's final starting eleven. Pablo Maffeo, Emiliano Insúa, Erik Thommy and Nicolas González were all in, replacing Andreas Beck, Holger Badstuber, Borna Sosa and the injured Daniel Didavi.
Dortmund boss Favre meanwhile made three changes. The injured Manuel Akanji was replaced by Łukasz Piszczek, Julian Weigl was swapped out for Thomas Delaney, while in-form Spanish striker Paco Alcácer was given his first start in place of Max Philipp.
Buzzing like bees
Dortmund had left it late before storming to a 4:3 win against FC Augsburg in match day seven, but at the Mercedes-Benz-Arena the match was virtually over in the opening 25 minutes.
Clad in their away kit of black shirts and yellow socks, Dortmund were on their hapless opponents like a swarm of bees, and it would take just three minutes for things to get going. Having shown himself to be the assist king in recent weeks, young English winger Jadon Sancho opened the scoring, his shot taking horrible deflection to beat Stuttgart 'keeper Ron-Robert Zieler. It was a fortuitous start, but when you luck is in, it's in.
There were two have chances for Christian Gentner for the home side (8., 20.), but the tempo had been set by the visitors.
Two goals in two minutes
Dortmund were setting the tempo, and their second goal after 23 minutes was a beauty. Marco Reus charged down the centre of the pitch before playing the ball out to Piszczek, and made a smart diagonal run into towards the box. Piszczek's cutback from the byline was brilliantly left by Paco Alcácer, and Reus swept it home.
Dortmund were flying now, and just two minutes later Alcácer hit the back of the net. Seizing on a mistake in the middle of the pitch by Benjamin Pavard, the Spaniard charged towards the goal, before dinking the ball delightfully over Zieler.
It was Alcácer's seventh goal in just 106 minutes on the pitch this season.
Slower second half
Having established a clear cushion, Dortmund were able to slow things down a little before and after half-time. There was more space for the Swabians to play a little, and they were able to create some excellent opportunities.
Despite his side's dominant spell, there was no joy for poor Markus Weinzierl. Gentner missed a sitter from five yards out after 48 minutes, and four minutes later Santiago Ascacibar was denied by BVB 'keeper Roman Bürki.
Just as Stuttgart thought that they might have had a chance to grab a consolation goal, Dortmund scored a fourth. Having come off the bench, Max Philipp had plenty of time and space to line things up before drilling a low right-footed shot into the bottom left-hand corner.
Result: VfB Stuttgart 0 Borussia Dortmund 4 (Sancho 3., Reus 23., Paco Alcácer 25., Philipp 85.) 1. FSV Mainz 05 0