Borussia Dortmund captain Marco Reus tapped in an 85th-minute goal to give his team a 2-1 win over visitors VfB Stuttgart on Saturday as they closed within a point of leaders Bayern Munich.
Dortmund’s Dutch forward Donyell Malen scored his first Bundesliga goal in the 56th minute, but Stuttgart levelled seven minutes later before Reus snatched the winner.
The result gave coach Marco Rose a club record with seven home wins from seven home league matches since taking over this season.
Dortmund, who faces Sporting in Lisbon on Wednesday in the Champions League, move up to 27 points from 12 games, one behind Bayern, who slumped to a 2-1 loss at Augsburg on Friday.
Fellow Champions League clubs RB Leipzig and VfL Wolfsburg also lost ground, with the former losing 2-0 at Hoffenheim and dropping to sixth and the Wolves needing a two-goal comeback to draw 2-2 at Arminia Bielefeld as they slipped to fifth.
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“It was a good performance against a strong opponent,” Dortmund’s Rose said. “We made too many mistakes with the ball especially in the first half.”
“But it is an important win that should give us a lot of confidence and energy. We can live well with this result ahead of the weeks leading up to Christmas.”
“We have high expectations of ourselves. We saw yesterday’s (Bayern) result. We did our duty and won our game. We are now right there at the top, and we want to stay there.”
Stuttgart was compact from the start, and Dortmund struggled to carve out many clear chances, though Reus and Malen did come close.
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It was the visitors, however, who had the best chance in the first half, with Dortmund’s Gregor Kobel pulling off a sensational save to palm Tanguy Coulibaly’s 38th-minute volley wide.
Malen, under pressure to deliver in the Bundesliga after joining for 30 million euros ($33.86 million) from PSV Eindhoven this season, put the hosts in the driving seat with a deflected effort but it only lasted seven minutes.
Stuttgart quickly bounced back, with Roberto Massimo latching onto a through ball, shaking off two markers and beating Kobel for the equaliser.
The hosts, pushing forward for the winner, struck on a quick break, with Reus launching the move and then finishing it from close range on the rebound after Stuttgart keeper Florian Mueller had stopped Thorgan Hazard’s shot.