In-form Borussia Dortmund Midfielder Julian Brandt scored a first-half goal to secure a 1-0 win at Hoffenheim on Saturday and send his side three points clear at the top of the Bundesliga.
Just before half-time, Dortmund captain Marco Reus took a free-kick from just outside the box to Brandt, who appeared to be trying to get out of the way, but the ball bounced off his back and into the net.
Brandt, who was named Bundesliga player of the month on Thursday, has now scored in five consecutive games for Dortmund, who are on a nine game winning streak.
He said that his side “pushed our luck a little bit” but he indicated that the victory was a “strong vision” where the team is at the moment.
“In the past we have often lost games like this,” he said.
After the break, Dortmund midfielder Emre Can’s challenge on Hoffenheim midfielder Kevin Akpoguma in the box survived a VAR review, although the former Liverpool player cut his heel his partner.
Dortmund’s Marius Wolf looked to have doubled his team’s lead after 57 minutes when he curled a volley over keeper Oliver Baumann, but the goal was ruled out for a bad one at the other end of the pitch in the formation.
Hoffenheim’s Fisnik Asllani had a late equalizer when Angelino found himself unmarked a meter from the Dortmund goal, only to head the striker.
Bayern Munich and Union Berlin, three points behind Dortmund, meet on Sunday in the Bavarian capital.
On the other hand, RB Leipzig climbed into the top four with a 2-1 home win over Eintracht Frankfurt.
Leipzig took the lead after just six minutes, with Timo Werner tipping the ball over despite losing his balance on the edge of the box.
Emil Forsberg, who assisted Werner’s effort, doubled Leipzig’s lead in the 40th minute.
Frankfurt’s Djibril Sow scored a fine goal in the 61st minute to give the visitors hope, but Leipzig held on to overtake Freiburg in the fourth.
Werner said his side deserved to win after “a strong first half” and revealed he is now fully recovered from the ankle injury that kept him out of the World Cup.
“I’m pain-free after my injury, I’m not banned anymore, which makes a big difference.”
In Saturday’s late game, Schalke took the bottom three vital points in their bid to avoid relegation, and beat Stuttgart 2-1 at home.
First-half goals from Dominick Drexler and Marius Buelter helped Schalke – who came into the match on the back of four consecutive 0-0 draws – to just their third win of the season.
A late goal error from Schalke’s Ralf Faehrmann, who mistimed Borna Sosa’s shot and put it on his feet, gave Stuttgart hope of just their second win in 16 games. ago.
“We are alive,” said manager Thomas Reis, but Faehrmann said his side “received a high reward for our effort.”
Wolfsburg won their first game in six games with a 2-0 victory in Cologne, thanks to a goal from Yannick Gerhardt and a penalty from captain Max Arnold.
Hertha Berlin beat Augsburg 2-0 to move third in the table and out of the relegation zone.
Hertha’s Marco Richter and Dodi Lukebakio scored twice in the second half at the snowy Olympic Stadium for just their second win in seven games in 2023.
The Bundesliga’s top scorer this season, Werder Bremen’s Niclas Fuellkrug, scored his 14th goal of the competition alongside goals from Niklas Schmidt and Marvin Ducksch in a 3-0 home win over Bochum.
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