The midfielder grabbed his first Bundesliga goal in 20 months to end Dortmund's near month-long wait for a win in the Bundesliga and, at least temporarily, take them off the foot of the table and out of the bottom three ahead of the remainder of the weekend's fixtures.
BVB had a spring in their step right from the start with a Marcel Schmelzer effort after 40 seconds drawing encouraging applause from Klopp. The coach had made the bold decision to leave out Roman Weidenfeller as part of five changes to the side beaten by Eintracht Frankfurt a week ago, with Mats Hummels returning from injury at the heart of the defence, but the decision was proven correct, with his side's organisation and discipline visible from the outset.
Hoffenheim were being as vigilant as possible to keep a buoyant BVB at bay, but just one lapse in concentration was all it took for their defence to be breached. Just before the 20-minute mark, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang lifted a teasing cross to the far post where Gündogan ghosted in to head home his first Bundesliga goal since April 2013.
Playing for the first time in 73 games with the very same back line used in the UEFA Champions League final defeat to FC Bayern München, Dortmund showed the same resolve which got them to that season's Wembley final, restricting Hoffenheim to just one speculative Sven Schipplock effort in the whole of the first half.
Credit for that could be correlated with the return of Hummels, who made a decisive block at the start of the second half to scamper back and deflect a Sebastian Rudy free-kick wide with Mitch Langerak beaten. It was a warning to Dortmund that one goal may not be enough, and they thought they had added a second when Aubameyang headed in, but the offside flag was raised to deny him.
Hummels so very nearly announced himself at the other end too as Dortmund looked to turn the screw, but Oliver Baumann parried his header from a corner over the bar. Aubameyang then suffered similar treatment from the Hoffenheim custodian, who was keeping his team in the contest, turning another effort from the Gabon forward onto the outside of the post after the had seen his second goal of the night ruled out for offside.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan also missed the target as the home fans' nerves were put to the test by side's their failure to finish Hoffenheim off. They got away with it, though, despite Hoffenheim's appeals for a penalty when Neven Subotic clashed with Tarik Elyounoussi inside the box. There was nothing to block Dortmund's path to a much-needed win, however, and the relief inside the Signal Iduna Park at full time was palpable.
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