A superb second-half chip from Julian Brandt sent Borussia Dortmund to the top of the Bundesliga table with a 1-0 home win over Werder Bremen on Friday.
Bremen-born Brandt, playing his 300th league match, broke the deadlock midway through the second half, dinking a composed finish over the ‘keeper to give his side the lead.
The win means Dortmund finish Friday evening one point clear atop the table, although Bayer Leverkusen can re-take the lead with a win at Wolfsburg on Saturday.
“I have to say, it went pretty well today,” Brandt told DAZN after the game.
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Brandt, who returned from Germany’s USA tour less than 48 hours before the match, said: “I’m very happy but very tired. I’ll be glad when I’m laying in bed.”
Dortmund manager Edin Terzic said it was a “highly deserved win when you see the chances we left behind”.
Bremen coach Ole Werner said the result was “bitter” after “a good performance for which we were not rewarded.”
Dortmund came into the match unbeaten despite failing to impress in the league campaign, sitting level with Bayern Munich on 17 points after seven matches.
Bremen had been the last side to defeat Dortmund on home soil, scoring three goals in six minutes to turn a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 win in injury time in August of last season.
Bremen’s Werner vowed midweek his side would attack their fancied rivals and the visitors looked slick on the counter but were toothless in decisive moments, a theme since star striker Niclas Fuellkrug left for Dortmund in September.
Brandt almost created the opener when he squared for Marco Reus midway through the first half, but the former Dortmund captain’s shot trickled just wide of the post.
Donyell Malen grabbed a sublime lofted pass from Reus early in the second but lashed his attempt wide.
Dortmund’s search for an opener continued until Brandt took matters into his own hands, collecting an Emre Can ball and chipping Bremen goalie Michael Zetterer.
Despite the lead Dortmund continued to attack as the clock wound down, Zetterer denying Sebastien Haller on the volley with one minute remaining.
On Saturday, Bayern play away at bogey side Mainz, where they have lost their last three league matches, while Stuttgart can leapfrog Dortmund with a win at Union Berlin.