Borussia Dortmund’s title challenge effectively went up in flames as they lost an important fixture against Hamburg 4-1 and the Signal Iduna Park.
Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich are now 12 points clear of the chasing Dortmund and have a game in hand which will be played later today.
The game actually started well for the hosts as Robert Lewandowski put them ahead in the 17th minute but within the space of a quarter of and hour the complexion of the game had changed drastically.
Hamburg struck twice through Son Heung-min and Artjoms Rudnevs and Dortmund were reduced to ten men with Lewandowski the man sent for an early shower.
Parity was restored to the numbers with Jeffrey Bruma’s 59th minute sending off but Hamburg went on to net two more goals, one each for their two previous scorers.
The victory sees Hamburg climb the table as they move into fourth spot in the Bundesliga standings.
The in-demand Lewandowski tacked another couple million to his price tag as he opened the scoring, getting in behind defender Heiko Westermann to collect a long ball forward before finishing between the legs of Rene Adler.
Hamburg hit back immediately as Marcell Jansen found Dennis Aogo on the left flank and he crossed into the box where Rudnevs fired home from inside the six yard box.
Dortmund were left shell-shocked as their early lead was reversed in the 26th minute with South Korean Son left Mats Hummels in his wake before unleashing a shot that flew in off the far post.
Lewandoski’s hopes of adding to his 14 league goals were dashed only minutes after his team went behind as he plunged his them into the mire by getting sent off for a challenge on Per Ciljan Skjelbred.
Dortmund celebrations in first half stoppage time were cut short when Mario Gotze's goal was disallowed as an interfering Marco Reus was ruled offside.
A professional foul on Reus just before the hour mark yielded a red card for Bruma and the Bundesliga champions would have been looking to take advantage of a level playing field.
However, the home side’s slim chance of reeling in Bayern all but evaporated as their hopes of winning the game were dashed by Rudnevs’ second goal.
Rafael van der Vaart delivered a peach of a cross to the back post where the waiting Rudnev darted his header between the legs of Dortmund keeper Roman Weidenfeller.
Not to be outdone Son also got his name on the scoresheet for a second time as he converted Jansen’s cross from the left with just a minute of regulation time remaining.
Borussia Dortmund may look back at this match as a defining moment in the capitulation of their title challenge.