Borussia Dortmund have grabbed another narrow Bundesliga victory. This time it was a hard-fought 90 minutes against fellow undefeated side Werder Bremen, with a Robert Lewandowski goal the decider.
Once again, Borussia Dortmund were forced to work harder than they would have liked on Friday night at home to Werder Bremen. Dubbed the "six point match" it featured a faceoff between two clubs who have won both their matches so far this season.
With Ilkay Gündogan still injured, Dortmund's captain-turned-substitute Sebastian Kehl was slotted into the starting lineup alongside Nuri Sahin. But it was the attacker Marco Reus who grabbed the attention at the Westfalenstadion.
The 24-year-old midfielder was a constant scoring threat throughout the match, proving particularly dangerous from set pieces early on. But despite Dortmund's offensive onslaught, Bremen preserved the clean sheet in the first half, mostly thanks to the excellent goalkeeping of Sebastian Mielitz.
Dortmund break deadlock
It was in the second period of play that the deserved goal finally game. In the 55th minute, Kevin Grosskreutz found Reus on the right side of the area. He sent a well-placed low cross to Robert Lewandowski, who simply had to tap the ball into an empty net. Impressively, it was the first goal Bremen had conceded all season.
Despite concerns that the floodgates had opened, Bremen continued to defend well against Dortmund's energetic attack. The visitors brought on new signing Franco di Santo try to equalize, but a late effort in the 87th minute that Roman Weidenfeller forced wide was the best he could muster.
It finished 1-0, and Dortmund grabbed their third consecutive win of the season to go top of the Bundesliga table, for now.
Friday's victory was the second time Dortmund have struggled to score at home after narrowly defeating Eintracht Braunschweig last Sunday. The club put a total of 32 shots on target against Bremen, but their finishing often lacked the proper accuracy.
"We're happy with the three points. But we can and have to play better. One goal at home is not enough for us," Lewandowski told broadcaster Sky after the match. "I think the best times are still to come. The season is obviously long and the Champions League and cup are coming soon."
German football resumes on Saturday with the historic derby between Bayern Munich and Nuremberg the highlight of the weekend.