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'
|Berardi will get Italy call when system changes - Ventura|
|Lucas Vazquez delighted by ´dream´ Madrid deal|
|Scottish FA chief backs cross-border competition|
|Dortmund need Reus - Aubameyang|
|Lamela eyeing new Spurs deal|
|Tighter Watford matches are a coincidence, says Mazzarri|
|Karanka: We saved Boro from League One|
|Police investigate homophobic leaflet at West Ham|
|Spain could recall Villa, reveals Lopetegui|
|Hughes backs Bony to break Stoke duck|
|Sarri will greet Higuain ´like a son who made him angry´|
|Robben receives Netherlands recall|
|Dyche considering Gray recall for Burnley|
|Zidane was behind one of my best seasons, says Ronaldo|
|Schweinsteiger absent from United squad photo|
|Emery emphasises Thiago Silva´s importance amid Juve links|
|Ferguson: Leicester will make deep Champions League run|
|Ranieri hails ´special´ Ballon d´Or nominations for Vardy and Mahrez|
|Emery: PSG cannot rely solely on Cavani goals|
|Mourinho can match Guardiola, insists Ferguson|
|Ferguson hails Klopp: Liverpool are strong title contenders now|
|Bayern optimistic over Lewandowski renewal|
|Zubizarreta appointment confirmed by Marseille|
|Clichy: Things will click into place for Manchester City|
|Chiellini: Juventus wanted to send a message|
|Gabigol´s time will come - De Boer|
|Ronaldo: Messi and I are not friends - but we respect each other|
|Earthquake halts play in Serie A game between Pescara and Atalanta|
|Mourinho charged over Taylor comments|
|Ronaldo: I need my haters|
|Badstuber hopeful injury woes behind him|
|Kroos did not want to be rested, insists Zidane|
|Rojo was phenomenal - Mourinho|
|Seven arrests made after West Ham - Chelsea fan clashes|
|Florenzi injury blow for Roma|
|MLS Review: Galaxy, Toronto into semis|
|Beister: Victory move surprised people|
|Bilic: Cup run will help in Premier League|
|Pjaca out for up to three weeks|
|Trophies still the focus for Guardiola|
|Mignolet wants ´fair´ Karius battle|
|Ancelotti impressed by motivated Bayern|
|West Ham ´unreservedly condemn´ crowd trouble|
|Allegri praises strike duo after win over Sampdoria|
|De Boer praises two-goal Icardi after vital win|
|Chelsea were ´unlucky´ with missed chances, insists Conte|
|Mourinho: I´ve never had fans like these|
|Nacho´s goal better than my Champions League final volley - Zidane|
|Borussia Dortmund 1 Union Berlin 1 (aet, 3-0 pens): Weidenfeller shootout heroics seal progress|
|Bilic: Crowd trouble distracts from great West Ham win|
|Kompany told me he couldn´t play anymore - Guardiola|
|Liverpool and Manchester United handed home quarter-finals|
|Inter 2 Torino 1: Icardi double alleviates pressure on De Boer|
|Manchester United 1 Manchester City 0: Mata extends Guardiola´s winless run|
|West Ham 2 Chelsea 1: Crowd trouble tarnishes Hammers´ route to quarter-finals|
|Cultural Leonesa 1 Real Madrid 7: Morata and Asensio star in BBC´s absence|
|Bayern Munich 3 Augsburg 1: Green´s first goal sends holders through|
|Juventus 4 Sampdoria 1: Rapid start sets champions on their way|
|Crafty Suarez is world´s best striker - Godin|
|Mancini: Balotelli has wasted years but can bounce back|
|Rami rejected ´risky´ PSG move|
|Neymar would have cost PSG €430m, claims father|
|Sacchi warns Bayern players over Ancelotti temper|
|Valencia ´pleased´ with RFEF bottle ruling|
|Mourinho apologises to Utd fans for Chelsea thrashing|
|Barcelona lash out at ´totally reprehensible´ RFEF comments|
|Jacob leaves Marseille amid rumours of Zubizarreta appointment|
|Lavezzi added to Argentina squad as Dybala drops out|
|Del Bosque: Mourinho had a point on Conte|
|N´Zonzi in talks over Sevilla extension|
|Allardyce successor ´will not be a mercenary´ - Glenn|
|Aubameyang like a rocket, Lewandowski perfect - Riedle|
|RFEF fines Valencia, warns Barca over bottle incident|
|Wenger tells Iwobi to improve his finishing|
|Barcelona without Mathieu for three weeks|
|Kimmich draws inspiration from Xavi|
|Vazquez signs new Madrid deal|
|Higuain the best striker in the world - Nedved|
|Wolfsburg regret De Bruyne, Perisic sales|
|Parejo slams Neymar for ´inciting´ Valencia fans|
|Gundogan predicts ´very lively´ Manchester derby|
|Luis Enrique satisfied with Supercopa workout|
|Messi could join Newell´s after World Cup - Maxi Rodriguez|
|Ibrahimovic wants United to be the boss of City|
|Schmidt on the bus as Lotte book ticket for next round|
|Pogba still adapting to Premier League, says Mourinho|
|Southgate hails influence of demoted Rooney|
|Lille ready to heap more pressure on PSG as Corchia dreams big|
|I´m among top 20 LaLiga coaches, jokes Luis Enrique|
|Brattan earns Socceroos call-up|
|Pochettino pleased with Janssen|
|Klopp never questioned Sturridge quality|
|Barcelona downed by Espanyol in Supercopa|
|Heavy Milan defeat ´just a bump in the road´ - Montella|
|Pochettino wanted Liverpool debutant sent off|
|Klopp happy to entertain as Liverpool youngsters earn their spurs|
|Leverkusen dumped out by 10-man minnows|