Dortmund maintain title challenge with narrow win
Borussia Dortmund produced a battling performance to overcome Wolfsburg 2-0 at the Volkswagen Arena on Saturday afternoon and keep themselves very much in the hunt for a sixth Bundesliga crown.
Ahead of the clash in Lower Saxony, Dortmund revealed that Germany international Mario Gotze, who scored the winning goal against Argentina in the 2014 World Cup final, would be leaving the club when his contract expires in the summer.
The 27-year-old's assistance was not required as BVB managed to edge a narrow contest against the Wolves, with Raphael Guerreiro's strike in the 32nd minute putting the visitors 1-0 ahead at the break.
Lucien Favre was forced into a change at the interval after Mats Hummels picked up a foot injury, replaced by Emre Can, but the initial prognosis is that the defender will be available for Tuesday's Der Klassiker against former employers Bayern Munich
Although not at their best in the second half, Dortmund scored the crucial second goal in the 78th minute, Achraf Hakimi firing a crisp strike into the bottom-left corner, before Wolfsburg were reduced to 10-men when Felix Klaus was shown a straight red for an attempted kick out.
Dortmund's victory sets up a mouth-watering showdown between BVB and Bayern in mid-week which could go a long way to deciding the destination of the title.
Elsewhere, Bayer Leverkusen moved to third in the Bundesliga after they defeated Borussia Monchengladbach 3-1 at Borussia-Park in a thoroughly entertaining encounter between two top-four hopefuls.
In-form Kai Havertz scored his second brace in two matches either side of Marcus Thuram's strike, before Sven Bender's header nine minutes from time gave the hosts a precious three points.
After the game, goalscorer Havertz told the club's Twitter page: "We're happy about the win. We put it on ourselves to win here and we did that. We had to really give everything today and I think we deserved to win in the end."
Monchengladbach drop to fourth as a result of the defeat and they could end the weekend in fifth position, if RB Leipzig pick up at least a point in Sunday's trip to Mainz.
In the other two games, rock-bottom Paderborn drew 1-1 at home to Hoffenheim, while Werder Bremen overcame a late red card to beat Freiburg 1-0 away from home.
Bremen remain 17th in the standings but they have closed the gap to Fortuna Dusseldorf, who sit in the relegation play-off spot, to two points.
Reflecting on a massive three points for Weder, Leonardo Bitttencourt told the club's website: "We had to win today and we gave it everything. After we took the lead we didn't play as well as we'd have liked, but we're delighted to have won here today."
Next up for Bremen is a meeting with Monchengladbach on Tuedday with Werder 4.33 for the win.
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