Borussia Dortmund sealed their place in next season's UEFA Champions League with an enthralling 4-2 win over Mainz on Saturday.
In a high-tempo encounter, the hosts took the lead after just six minutes at Signal Iduna Park courtesy of Milos Jojic's deflected opener, before Shinji Okazaki levelled with a deflected effort of his own eight minutes later.
Robert Lewandowksi restored the advantage after finishing a wonderful breakaway, only for Okazaki to pounce on a Nuri Sahin mistake to restore parity again shortly after the break.
However, from that point, Dortmund stepped up the pace to seal the points, and a Lukasz Piszczek header put them back in front before Niko Bungert was sent off for handling in the box.
Marco Reus stepped up to convert the resulting spot kick, securing a fourth consecutive league victory that also handed Jurgen Klopp's side European football for another season.
Klopp had previously hailed the progress of his former club, where he spent a total of 19 years as a player and then manager before leaving for Dortmund in 2008, but there seemed to be no room for sentiment as the hosts made a vibrant start.
Reus fired an early warning after three minutes, striking the post with a thumping 30-yard free-kick.
And Dortmund, buoyed by their 3-0 win over champions Bayern Munich last week, were celebrating three minutes later as Jojic's strike from the edge of the area took a fortunate deflection off Oliver Kirch, leaving goalkeeper Loris Karius with no chance.
The visitors protested at a suspected handball from Kirch, but any sense of injustice was eased just before the quarter-hour mark.
Okazaki's speculative effort from the edge of the area cannoned off the boot of Mats Hummels and looped over the head of Australian Mitch Langerak and into the net.
Their joy at restoring parity lasted just three minutes, though, as Sahin's wonderful throughball from midfield found Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who burst into the penalty area before squaring to Lewandowski, who gladly slotted home for his 18th Bundesliga goal of the season.
Despite struggling to contain a lively Dortmund midfield, Mainz still managed to create chances before the break. First, Maxim Choupo-Moting headed wide, before Yunus Malli's vicious 25-yard drive went whistling over the crossbar.
However, Dortmund remained the better side and nearly extended their lead 10 minutes before the break courtesy of Reus, who sent a low shot just wide of the post after some good work down the left by Piszczek.
Reus had another great chance just after the interval, spurning a one-on-one with the goalkeeper after getting in behind the Mainz backline.
The Germany international's wastefulness was punished after 53 minutes when a poor back pass from Sahin was pounced on by Okazaki, who sprinted past Langerak to slot home.
But once again, Dortmund responded with a goal of their own three minutes later, as a whipped free-kick from Reus on the left found the head of Piszczek, who rose highest to glance the ball beyond Karius.
Lewandowski should have secured a fourth goal after 63 minutes when he was played clean through on goal, only to be denied by an inspired Karius save.
The hosts were awarded a penalty 11 minutes from time, after Lewandowski's effort hit the hand of Bungert, who was shown a red card.
Reus duly obliged with the resulting spot-kick, as Klopp secured his sixth consecutive win over his previous employers, denting their UEFA Europa League hopes in the process.
|14||M. Jojić||6' 8'|
|Coach: J. Klopp|
for H. Mkhitaryan 80'
for M. Jojić 81'
for M. Reus 84'
|UEFA Europa League Review: Tottenham in late turnaround, Astra shock Lyon|
|League Two Preview: Morecambe, Burton out to continue fast starts|
|Sassuolo 4 Cittadella 1: Second-half rally sees Sassuolo into Coppa fourth round|
|Howard to take US sabbatical|
|Lokeren 1 Hull City 0: McGregor error gifts Belgians victory|
|Rwanda given Wednesday hearing for disqualification appeal|
|Pochettino hails substitutes´ impact|
|Mackay apologises over text message scandal|
|Brandao suspended over Motta incident|
|Borussia Dortmund v Bayer Leverkusen: Klopp expecting tough start|
|QPR complete loan deal for Vargas|
|League One Preview: Fleetwood, Preston face home tests|
|Chelsea v Leicester City: Schurrle expecting Chelsea improvement|
|Southampton v West Brom: Koeman wary of Albion|
|AEL 1 Tottenham 2: Late turnaround gives visitors play-off edge|
|CAF Confederation Cup: Al Ahly, Nkana out to reach last four|
|Swansea City v Burnley: Monk expecting stern examination|
|Bender close to Leverkusen return|
|Morocco will host Club World Cup despite Ebola concerns - FIFA|
|Schneiderlin not allowed to leave, insists Koeman|
|Dyche confident Burnley can strengthen|
|West Brom eye Samaras signing|
|Aston Villa v Newcastle United: Lambert wants more Weimann goals|
|MLS Preview: Sounders look to bounce back at Portland, Johnson banned for DC|
|Klose eyes European football|
|Monk warns Swansea over complacency|
|De Jong set for Newcastle return|
|Crystal Palace v West Ham: No excuses from Millen|
|Pearson looking for Chelsea indication|
|Blanc wants Rabiot to stay|
|Bowyer reveals Hull approach for Rhodes|
|Atletico out to gatecrash Barca, Real party once again|
|Barcelona go back to the future|
|CSL Preview: Beijing Guoan, Dalian Aerbin hit the road|
|Westwood returns to Ireland squad|
|Millen confident on Palace job prospects|
|Pedro struck down by gastroenteritis|
|Championship Preview: Magath preaches patience, Ipswich host East Anglian derby|
|Ribery not ready for Bayern return - Guardiola|
|Ancelotti: Di Maria has asked to leave|
|Moody resigns from Palace post|
|Everton v Arsenal: Martinez denies Everton have advantage|
|Coventry agree Ricoh return|
|Allardyce eyes defensive improvements|
|FA to investigate Cardiff dossier|
|Simeone not expecting to retain title|
|Balotelli bids farewell to Milan team-mates|
|Wenger open to signings after Arteta blow|
|Martinez to wait on Kone, Oviedo before considering late signings|
|Ocampos believes in Jardim´s methods|
|Villas-Boas calls for Zenit focus|
|Jovetic predicts bright future at City|
|Hamren hoping for quick Ibrahimovic recovery|
|Van Gaal retains focus on team ethic|
|Martinez calls for Everton consistency|
|Oxlade-Chamberlain: Arsenal´s best will come|
|Benaglio retires from Swiss duty|
|MLS Review: Galaxy stun Rapids, Sounders held|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: MLS clubs shine|
|Panama 4 Cuba 0: Hosts finally win|
|K. League Preview: In-form Jeonbuk out to increase advantage|
|Copa Sudamericana Review: Penarol poised to advance, General Diaz on track|
|Liga MX Preview: America target another win|
|J.League Preview: In-form Kashima, Tokyo face tests|
|Fresh faces in Australia squad|
|Copa Argentina Review: River Plate, Estudiantes des Caseros reach quarters|
|Girard rues wasteful Lille|
|Scholes: ´I am scared for United´|
|Patient Inter got just rewards - Mazzarri|
|UEFA Europa League Review: Inter win in Iceland|
|UEFA Champions League Play-offs Review: Away sides prosper in play-off first legs|
|Fulham 0 Wolves 1: Sako inflicts more misery on hosts|
|Bundesliga Preview: Klopp set to break record as Dortmund host Leverkusen|
|Bruce reveals Aboubakar interest|
|Kane ready to light up Premier League|
|Jerome joins Norwich|
|Bayern destined to dominate Bundesliga once again|
|Perfectionist Guardiola raises the bar|
|Pohang Steelers 0 Seoul 0: Last-eight tie on a knife edge|
|Rojo pens five-year deal at United|
|Bayern Munich v Wolfsburg: Badstuber wary of tough opening|
|Eredivisie Preview: Ajax and PSV lock horns in De Topper, Groningen face Den Haag|
|Ligue 1 Preview: Bordeaux and Saint-Etienne out to continue dream starts|
|Thai Premier League Review: 10-man Buriram survive Muang Thong test, BEC Tero defeated|
|QPR seal Fer capture|
|Modric aiming for further glory after extending deal|
|Dzeko pens new City deal|
|Marotta: Vidal was never for sale|
|Evian v Paris Saint-Germain: Champions wary of wounded hosts|
|Ulloa gains confidence from debut goal|
|Hamann hoping for competitive Bundesliga|
|Dortmund duo Kirch and Ji sidelined|
|Irvine will not rush Gamboa|
|Messi, Mascherano laud La Masia|
|Moses: Hughes reason for Stoke move|
|Lahm aware of Dortmund threat|
|Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid: Rodriguez targets winning goal after opening Real account|
|Wilshere urges focus for return leg|
|Milan: No Liverpool offer for Balotelli|
|Michu chat aided Fernandez switch|
|Western Sydney Wanderers 1 Guangzhou Evergrande 0: Tempers flare after Sydney triumph|
|Van der Vaart headlines Netherlands squad|
|CAF Champions League Preview: Dead rubbers brought to life by Zamalek appeal|
|UEFA open Tavecchio investigation|
|Napoli sign Villarreal´s De Guzman|
|My heart is at Bayern, insists Muller|
|Altidore at his happiest - Poyet|
|Barca to go to CAS after FIFA rejects appeal|
|Swansea confirm Fernandez signing|
|Leverkusen will not relax, says Schmidt|
|Modric pens new Real deal|
|Amat relishing Fernandez competition|
|Snodgrass out for six months|
|Di Maria is Real´s best - Simeone|
|Kompany hails City contract dealings|
|Higuain: Napoli have to qualify|
|Martinez backs Barkley to bounce back|
|Stjarnan ready to exploit Inter´s ´weaknesses´|
|No price-tag pressure for Liverpool´s Markovic|
|Courtois admits departure thoughts|
|Skrtel: Liverpool must defend ´as a group´|
|Duff predicts Chelsea success, ´worried´ for Fulham|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Portland shine in Guyana|
|Simeone: We have a ´50-50 chance´|
|Copa Sudamericana Review: Cerro Porteno win away, Huachipato start strongly|
|Ronaldo injury ´not serious´ - Ancelotti|
|Martino names Argentina squad|
|Supercopa ´still open´ - Alonso|
|Expect goals in Lille, Porto clash - Girard|
|Courtois wants Cech stay|
|Benitez backs Napoli to score|
|Real Madrid 1 Atletico Madrid 1: Ronaldo off at half-time as Real denied|
|League Two Review: Morecambe, Burton remain unbeaten, Portsmouth defeat Northampton|