Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang got himself back amongst the goals with the winner in Borussia Dortmund’s hard-fought 1-0 win over Bayer 04 Leverkusen.
Goals: 0-1 Aubameyang (64’)
Proceedings got off to a fast and physical start, but while both sides looked lively in the opening exchanges, neither was able to retain possession for an extended period of time. Jonathan Tah and Ömer Toprak failed to trouble Roman Bürki after getting on the end of corners, while the best chance for the visitors came on the stroke of half-time when an unmarked Aubameyang rattled the side-netting from 10 yards out.
The introduction of Marco Reus during the break cut short Christian Pulisic’s first-ever appearance in the starting line-up, but the substitution gave BVB fresh impetus up front. However, it was a clever one-two between Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez and Karim Bellarabi that drew the first save of the half out of Bürki.
The deadlock was finally broken shortly after the hour mark, though, when a quickly taken Dortmund free-kick saw Erik Durm burst into the box before squaring for Aubameyang to tap into a virtually empty net. An extended stoppage in play followed in the aftermath, but falling behind sparked Leverkusen into life as they threw everything forward in the closing stages, with Hernandez missing the best chance of the game in injury time. It was to no avail though as Dortmund held on for victory and moved .
Man of the match
Twenty-one goals in 21 games this season speaks for itself and, while he cut an isolated figure at times in Leverkusen, Aubameyang once again stepped up as Dortmund’s match-winner, underlining his influence in their impressive campaign.
It wasn’t pretty, but Dortmund did what was necessary to pick up three points in Leverkusen, something FC Bayern München failed to do. There are still eight points between BVB and the league leaders, but with Der Klassiker 13 days away the title race is far from over.
- Aubameyang’s opener was his 50th goal in Germany’s top flight in his 86th appearance.
- Leverkusen have not beaten Dortmund on home soil since May 2007.
Leverkusen: Leno - Jedvaj (Hilbert 57’), Tah, Toprak (Papadopulos 46’), Wendell - Kramer, Kampl (Ramalho 46’) - Bellarabi, Mehmedi - Kießling (c), Chicharito
Dortmund: Bürki - Piszczek, Hummels (c), Sokratis (Subotic 76’), Durm - Ginter, S. Bender (Weigl 68’) - Pulisic (Reus 46’), Leitner, Mkhitaryan - Aubameyang