Blaszczykowski's brace carries Dortmund past Nurnberg

A first-half double from Jakub Blaszczykowski propelled Borussia Dortmund to a 3-0 win over Nurnberg on Friday.

Blaszczykowski tallied the opening goal in the 18th minute from the penalty spot after Nurnberg's Timo Gebhart brought down Lukasz Piszczek inside the area.

Three minutes later, the midfielder doubled his tally with a shot that eluded goalkeeper Raphael Schafer after he was set up by Mario Gotze.

Marco Reus nearly added to the lead in the 67th when he saw his shot from the middle of the area slide just past the left post, but the Germany international played provider shortly before the final whistle when he found Robert Lewandowski with a pass that the striker managed to tuck just under the crossbar.

Dortmund moves level on 36 points with Bayer Leverkusen in second place, but the defending champions still trail leaders Bayern Munich by nine points.

On Sunday, Bayern resumes its charge toward the Bundesliga title when the Bavarians travel to mid-table Stuttgart, which sits only five points out of a place in the top four, while Bayern holds a nine-point lead at the top of the league entering the weekend.

The other contest on Sunday sees bottom-half sides Werder Bremen and Hamburg meet up at HSH Nordbank Arena.

Second-place Bayer Leverkusen faces a tough test at sixth-place Freiburg on Saturday with the home side riding a four-game unbeaten streak, while fourth- place Eintracht aims to continue its impressive campaign with three more points at home against struggling Hoffenheim, which has failed to record a win in its last eight games.

Schalke is just outside the Champions League places and travels to second- from-the-bottom Augsburg, Dusseldorf travels to Monchengladbach, Wolfsburg invades Hannover and Mainz takes on last-place Greuther Furth, which is still searching for its second win of the campaign.