Borussia Dortmund captain Marco Reus insists that "a lot can still happen" in the final nine games of the 2018/19 Bundesliga season, in what is shaping up to be a sensational scrap with Bayern Munich to lift the title.
Dortmund showed champion spirit to grind out a 3-1 win over relegation-threatened VfB Stuttgart on Saturday, which saw them slip off top spot for the first time since Matchday 5.
Reus opened the scoring from the penalty spot just after the hour mark, but the well-drilled visitors quickly equalised through Marc-Oliver Kempf. It was only with six minutes of normal time remaining that Paco Alcacer finally struck the decisive blow, before substitute Christian Pulisic added a well-taken third in injury time.
Watch: Reus discusses Dortmund's performance vs. Stuttgart
"I think our performance today was okay, but it wasn't quite at the level that we reached earlier in the season, and that we want to reach again," Reus told bundesliga.com afterwards. "In that regard, there is still room for improvement, but right now the win does give us some security."
While Dortmund were patiently probing away at a disciplined Stuttgart, Bayern were producing an attacking masterclass over at the Allianz Arena, hitting Wolfsburg for six with one of their most accomplished displays of the season. Robert Lewandowski grabbed a brace to become the Bundesliga's all-time leading foreign scorer, with the record champions taking over at the top by virtue of a superior goal difference.
Watch: Reus says "there's still a long way to go"
"We are level on points and Bayern have the better goal difference, but we still have nine games to play and a lot can happen in that time," Reus stressed. "We have to be ready and focus on our own game and then we will see what comes of it at the end of the season."
Dortmund travel to Hertha Berlin in a week's time, while Bayern host Mainz. After that, BVB are at home to Wolfsburg, and Bayern away to Freiburg. Then comes Der Klassiker - Round I of which went to the Black-Yellows earlier in the campaign - in Munich on 6 April, followed by six final rounds of fixtures to decide what has already been a thrilling title race.