Julian Brandt’s sole goal was enough to lift Borussia Dortmund atop the Bundesliga standings after taking all three points following a 1-0 win at Hoffenheim in the 22nd round on Saturday.
The BVB caught a bright start on the road and came close with four minutes gone when Jamie Bynoe-Gittens forced Hoffenheim goalkeeper Oliver Baumann into action.
Hoffenheim needed some time to grow into the game as Ozan Kabak headed narrowly wide from a promising position with 16 minutes played.
Dortmund posed more danger in front of the target and produced presentable chances, but Baumann was on guard to deny Sebastien Haller twice in quick succession at the half-hour mark.
Baumann was hapless as the visitors’ efforts got rewarded just before the break when Brandt tapped home Marco Reus’ pinpoint free kick.
Dortmund should have doubled its advantage but neither Reus nor Marius Wolf was able to beat Baumann in the injury time of the first half.
Wolf remained in the thick of things as he thought he had doubled Dortmund’s lead, but the video assistant referee disallowed the goal due to a foregone foul play by Wolf at the hour mark.
Hosts’ goalkeeper Baumann continued in the limelight for the remainder of the match as he defused the efforts from Raphael Guerreiro and Brandt twice before tipping Jude Bellingham’s effort to the post in the closing stages.
The result moves Dortmund to the top of the Bundesliga at least for one night before Bayern Munich and Union Berlin encounter in the top clash on Sunday.
Elsewhere, Leipzig climb into the top four after seeing off Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 thanks to two first-half goals.
Wolfsburg returned to winning ways and inflicted Cologne its second straight defeat following a 2-0.
Hertha Berlin reaped vital points in the relegation battle after overpowering Augsburg 2-0.
Werder Bremen cruised 3-0 past Bochum whereas last-placed Schalke beat Stuttgart 2-1 in the bottom clash. Already on Friday, Mainz trashed Borussia Monchengladbach 4-0. ■