Late substitutes Shinji Kagawa and Adrian Ramos proved vital to Dortmund picking up all three points. Werder Bremen went home still stuck in the relegation battle despite a valiant defensive effort.
Borussia Dortmund 3-2 Werder Bremen
(Aubameyang 53', Kagawa 77', Ramos 82' - Galvez 69', Junuzovic 74')
Borussia Dortmund kept the pressure on Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga table with a turbulent 3-2 win over Werder Bremen in Saturday's late game at Signal Iduna Park.
Thomas Tuchel's side were without key defender Mats Hummels for the game, but it was in attack that the home side initially struggled. Bremen did well to keep the game scoreless in the first half despite 13 shots from Dortmund.
Wing-back Erik Durm came close with a short-range flick in the 15th minute that would have been a certain goal if not for an intuitive save from Felix Wiedwald. Aside from that, only long-range shots from Gonzalo Castro and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang even troubled the Bremen goalkeeper in the first half.
Fortunately for Tuchel's side, the deadlock finally came to an end when Henrikh Mkhitaryan broke with the ball and played Aubameyang through. The Dortmund striker chipped the ball over Wiedwald to grab his 36th goal of the season.
From stale to stimulating
Things got a little crazy thereafter. Dortmund conceded the equalizer when a thunderous strike from Alejandro Galvez ricocheted off Castro and into Roman Burki's net. Five minutes later, Levin Oztunali jinked past Sven Bender to lay the ball off to Zlatko Junuzovic, providing Bremen with an unexpected lead.
Bremen's lead and any hope of pulling away from the relegation battle that may have accompanied it lasted just three minutes when Marcel Schmelzer got to the byline to swing a cross into the Bremen box. Shinji Kagawa, who had just come on as a sub, found himself in the right space at the right time and tapped home to bring Dortmund back to a level pegging.
With less than 10 minutes left on the clock, fellow substitute Adrian Ramos pulled Dortmund back in front with a powerful header from a Mkhitaryan corner. The Colombian striker, who has struggled for game time this season, proved to be a vital late addition in a game that could have gone either way. Dortmund came away with the hard-fought three points, a tough tune-up for their Europa League date with Liverpool.