Robert Lewandowski enhanced his burgeoning reputation with four goals as Borussia Dortmund took a giant stride towards setting up an all-German Champions League at Wembley against Bayern Munich after thrashing Real Madrid at Westfalenstadion.
The Polish striker tapped home after just eight minutes following a cross from Mario Goetze, who confirmed his move to Bayern just 24 hours earlier, before Mata Hummels' error allowed Cristiano Ronaldo to equalise five minutes before the break.
But the 2013 Ballon d'Or runner up's influence waned after the interval as Lewandowski added three goals in 17 second half minutes.
Marco Reus' deflected volley fell the way of the 24 year old who swivelled and toe-poked past Diego Lopez before Marcel Schmelzer's miss-hit effort fell the way of Lewandowki, who produced a finish of the highest order to find the roof of the net.
Xabi Alonso's foul on Reus in the penalty area allowed Lewandowski the chance from the spot to score his fourth, a opportunity he duly converted as Jose Mourinho's side were blown away in the second half.
While Real's hopes of ending an 11-year wait for a record 10th Champions League crown looks likely to be extended, Dortmund are now odds on favourites to join Bundesliga champions Bayern, 4-0 first-leg winners over Barcelona, in May's final; 16 years on from their last.
"It was an unbelievable, great game of my team," said manager Jurgen Klopp.
"It was so difficult because they are so strong and fast and they are so brilliant on the counter-attack."
Only once in the history of the Champions league has a side overturned a 4-1 first leg deficit, back in 2004 when Deportivo La Coruna overcame AC Milan, and Mourinho, chasing a record third winners medal with a third different club, was at a loss to explain the defeat.
"I think they were the best team by far and won every individual battle on the pitch and were stronger than us, more aggressive physically and tougher mentally so they deserved it," Mourinho said.
"How it went from 1-1 to 4-1, I really don't know because everything happened in a very short space of time in the far goal from the position where I was.
"But we lost easy possession and we couldn't cope with their counter-attacking and their transition.
"We prepared for the game so well, in every detail, as we always do, especially in a semi-final.We prepared for everything, we were ready for everything."