On 22 January, Borussia Dortmund fell out of the top four. A place in next season's UEFA Champions League looked to be slipping away. 14 rounds later, after five consecutive wins, BVB are back in fourth place and have one of this season's big goals in their own hands, while on Thursday, the Black & Yellows are in Berlin to contest the DFB-Pokal final.
Rasenballsport Leipzig (Thursday, 20:45 CET), 1. FSV Mainz 05 (Sunday, 18:00 CET) and Bayer 04 Leverkusen (Saturday 22 May, 15:30 CET) are Borussia's three remaining opponents as they look to close out the Covid-affected 2020/21 season by winning a fifth DFB-Pokal and qualifying for the Champions League for the 16th time in club history.
''We have the momentum on our side and we absolutely want to get into the Champions League and of course win the cup final too,'' said Marco Reus after the eye-catching 3-2 win over probable runners-up Leipzig. The club captain has hit a fine run of form towards the end of the season: the opening goal was his fifth in the last eight games.
Although the away side did well to work their way back into the game after Jadon Sancho gave BVB a 2-0 lead, notching up a 5-0 chance ratio and scoring twice to draw level at 2-2, a final burst of energy from the Black & Yellows was enough to secure all three points in their 48th game of the season. ''I'm very, very happy. We fought to the very end,'' said the scorer of the winning goal, Jadon Sancho. The game-winner came from a forced turnover in midfield and excellent vision from Julian Brandt. ''The last goal was brilliant, but it wasn't just down to Jadon. Julian Brandt had an extremely important role to play,'' praised Edin Terzic.
''We've really found our feet as a group. The ten-man win in Wolfsburg, the challenge against a tough Kiel side, and now the late win against Leipzig: all of it has brought us together,'' said the head coach, adding: ''We can't take a lot of courage and self-confidence from this.''
The team have hit red-hot form. ''We want to bring the cup home for the fans,'' declared Sancho, going on to add: ''They've been waiting for a trophy for a long time. And they deserve one in these difficult Covid times. They can't see us play live. The best way to end this season? Qualify for the Champions League and win the cup!''
Two wins and a little bit of help from rivals Schalke would mean this could be achieved this week - a week full of opportunities.