A stunning Jadon Sancho volley and Mario Götze's strike were enough to help Borussia Dortmund to their first win in a month. The 3-2 victory over Bayer Leverkusen means BVB have re-opened the three point gap to Bayern.
Borussia Dortmund 3 - 2 Bayer Leverkusen
(Zagadou 30', Sancho 38', Götze 60' - Volland 37', Tah 75')
They made hard work of it but Borussia Dortmund are back to winning ways. After a difficult few weeks where they've exited the German Cup, seen their lead cut in the Bundesliga and left their Champions League hopes hanging by a thread, a win, however narrow, will soothe frayed nerves.
All the pre-match talk was about the return of Peter Bosz, who had a six month spell as BVB boss last season. The Dutch coach's new side duly dominated the early proceedings, with Julian Brandt, Kai Havertz and Leon Bailey to the fore.
But Leverkusen failed to make their dominance count and were hit with a sucker punch when Dan-Axel Zagadou volleyed home Jadon Sancho's corner from close range.
Kevin Volland soon gave the Werkself an equalizer his side's play deserved after a pair of one-twos with Havertz ended with a powerful low drive in to the bottom corner. The away fans had barely stopped celebrating before they were once again holding heads in hands.
Abdou Diallo's deep cross from the left was speculative but Tin Jedvaj misjudged the flight. Jadon Sancho, positioned beyond the back post, certainly didn't and the young English winger unleashed a brilliant first time volley back across Luka Hradecky and in to the net.
Mario Götze looked to have made the points safe when he stroked in a third from the edge of the box but Jonathan Tah's free header made for a nervy last 15 minutes. With two of the bottom four to come in their next two league games, beating their old Bosz could prove decisive for Dortmund come May.
As it happened
FULL TIME: That's it! A big win for Dortmund and a highly entertaining game. We'll have a match report along here shortly.
90+5 - Hakimi absolutely leathers it in to the Südtribune. Anywhere will do now.
90+3 - The first corner is cleared behind, the second is headed clear by Witsel and then Havertz' ball eludes all his teammates and runs out.
90+2 - There will be five extra minutes, as Leverkusen win a corner, with Dortmund's defense a little ragged. Nerves.
90+1 - Brandt lobs in a deep and decent freekick but a Dortmund head clears.
90' - Another substitution for Dortmund, Alcacer off, Wolf on. Big few minutes for Dortmund.
86' - Dahoud gets involved immediately, sending Alcacer through. The striker hasn't got the acceleration to get clear, so he comes back out to Sancho and the English winger chips a lovely ball over the top to Bruun Larsen. It's a difficult one to strike and he can't get over it.
83' - Leverkusen haven't managed to build up a head of steam since their second, though you do feel Dortmund are vulnerable. Meanwhile, Dortmund bring on Dahoud for Götze.
80' - Just after that goal, Dortmund introduced Bruun Larsen for Guerreiro. And Sancho is back on the pitch.
79' - Boos from the fans as Sancho hits the deck and requires treatment. But replays show there was nothing illegal in the tackle, though that's not to say he isn't hurt.
76' - Dreadful defending from Dortmund. Brandt lifts a free kick into the box and Tah, probably Leverkusen's biggest aerial threat, is in absolutely acres of space at the back post. His header is on target and Bürki gets a hand to it but can't keep it out. Very sloppy, but we're in a for a frantic final 15.
75' GOAL! Borussia Dortmund 3 - 2 Bayer Leverkusen (Tah)
72' - CHANCE! The new man almost scores with his first touch. In truth, he probably should have. Alario gets on the end of a deep cross from Volland on the left and is alone on the edge of the six yard box. But his header is pushed clear by Bürki.
71' - We've just seen a replay of that disallowed goal and it was tight. Alcacer's nose may just have been off as he moved towards the ball. Presumably it wasn't deemed a clear error. Bosz blinks first in the substitution stakes, removing Bailey in favor of Alario.
69' - A nice little spell of controlled possession for Dortmund, presumably just what Lucien Favre is after. A little of the chaos has left the match.
65' - Leverkusen go straight down the other end and Volland whips one in for Bailey. The Jamaican opts for a diving header but it's too close to Bürki,
63' - GOAL DISALLOWED! - Diallo steps in to midfield and finds the run of Alcacer with a lovely through ball. The Spaniard rounds Hradecky and taps it in. But the flag was up and despite a VAR check, the decision stands.
60' - And from that, Götze eventually gives Dortmund a two goal cushion. Witsel and Sancho combine well to create space for Hakimi whose cross is deflected in to the path of Götze. The German is on the edge of the bx with a lot to do but strokes it firmly home, a nice finish but a little unfortunate for Leverkusen for a couple of reasons.
60' - GOAL! Borussia Dortmund 3 - 1 Bayer Leverkusen (Götze)
59' - The opening period of this half has been a lower key version of the first. Plenty of possession from Leverkusen with Dortmund looking dangerous on the break. Jedvaj goes in the book for throwing the ball down after a fairly terrible throw in decision.
54' - Leverkusen break after a Dortmund flurry, with Brandt and Havertz both involved but it fizzles out. Nonetheless, those two have both impressed.
51' - Volland drives in to the box but is muscled off it by Zagadou. The visitors starting to dominate possession once again.
49' - A slower start to this half, with neither side quite imposing themselves just yet.
46' - We're back underway at Signal Iduna Park. What's next?
HALF TIME: That's it for the first 45, to the relief of live bloggers everywhere. Leverkusen were dominant for the first half hour before Dan-Axel Zagadou's sucker punch from a corner. The visitors then scored a well-worked second through Kevin Volland before Jadon Sancho lashed in a sensational volley to restore BVB's lead. That doesn't feel like the end of the goals either.
45+2' - Hradecky's poor pass gets Leverkusen in trouble and Götze shifts it to Alcacer, whose shot is deflected over the bar. The corner comes to nothing.
44' - Leverkusen win a corner just before the break, which Bailey trots over to take. Weigls gets up well to nod clear at the front post.
42' - Hakimi gets in to a couple of tangles but gets off with a free kick. This is breathless stuff at the minute, both sides have absolutely no problem with playing risky passes in their own defensive third, it's great to watch.
38' - Incredible stuff and an incredible goal. Diallo lifts in a hopeful ball from the left. Jedvaj gets underneath the flight but Sancho sees it all the way and cuts across a first time volley, sending it back in the direction it came from and low in to the far corner. Wow.
38' GOAL! Borussia Dortmund 2 - 1 Bayer Leverkusen (Sancho)
37' - Lovely goal this, and totally deserved. Havertz exchanges passes with Volland and it works so well, the pair decide to do it again five yards later. The the German blasts it home from the edge of the box. But hang on...
37' - GOAL! Borussia Dortmund 1 - 1 Bayer Leverkusen (Volland)
33' - All Dortmund now, with Sancho to the fore. The winger pulls back a ball to Alcacer who, under some pressure, blazes over.
31' - And there it is, warning not heeded. Sancho whips in an excellent corner which just beats the players at the front post. Somehow Zagadou gets free in the six yard box and volleys home.
30' GOAL! Borussia Dortmund 1 - 0 Bayer Leverkusen (Zagadou)
29' - Chances! This is exactly why Leverkusen must take advantage of their dominance. Suddenly Dortmund spring the ball up to Alcacer who plays in Sancho, but the Englishman's low drive from the angle is straight at Hradecky. Then, moments later, Sancho knocks down a backpost header to Weigl has a clear sight of goal only for Tah to throw himself in front of the shot.
25' - Bailey has a pop from the edge of the box from a loose ball. He hits it fairly well but it's not on target. Leverkusen totally dominant but need to find something tangible to show for it.
23' - Again Brandt finds space and feeds Bailey, whose cross is cleared as far as Havertz on the edge of the box. It's a difficult ball to hit, bouncing up above his knee, but he gets over it well and Bürki is worried for a second before watching it flash past the post.
20' - Chance! Great stuff from Leverkusen. Havertz started it all by tracking back to rob Diallo. Then he, Brandt and Volland pop it about before Brandt breaks in to the box. Dortmund are reluctant to put a foot in with the German international at full tilt and he helps it back to Bender. The center back is a bit off balance and doesn't strike it cleanly and the ball deflect behind. The corner comes to nothing but the position of Bender in that attack is fairly typical of Bosz' high risk, high reward approach.
18' - Guerreiro, perhaps over-excited by having the ball in the opposition half, has a very speculative pop at goal. It dribbles some distance wide.
14' - Brandt is starting to boss this, finding plenty of space in the number 10 role. Leverkusen have had 75 percent of the ball so far.
11' - Brandt, Havertz and Bailey combine well before the latter whips it in low. Diallo gets a vital touch to divert it away from Brandt, who otherwise would've been in. Good start from the away side this, Dortmund can't get out of their own half.
8' - Sancho gets on the ball for the first time and immediately steps inside two players. His layoff to Götze is behind the German but he recovers the ball quickly before the attack breaks down.
6' - Havertz seeing a lot of the ball early, with Dortmund pinned back. Interesting note here from our reporter Matt Ford on the atmosphere at Signal Iduna Park.
3' - The visitors try their luck through Havertz on the right then Bailey down the left with no joy. Then Brandt drifts inside and picks out Havertz, who curls a shot over the bar. He had a bit of space there, probably should've worked the keeper.
1' - The scarves have been raised, the songs have been sung and Leverkusen get us underway.
17:55 - Still no Marco Reus today. That his absence has coincided with BVB’s recent blip is no coincidence, as these stats show.
17:48 - The first meeting between these two sides this season was something of a minor classic. Leverkusen, in the Heiko Herrlich era, raced in to a two goal lead at the break before Jacob Bruun Larsen, Marco Reus and a late brace from substitute Paco Alcacer gave Dortmund the points. Let’s hope for more of the same.
17:40 - The teams were announced a little while ago. It looks like Abdou Diallo will start at left back for Dortmund with Manuel Akanji returning to the center of defense and Julian Weigl alongside Axel Witsel in midfield. Mario Götze will play just behind Paco Alcacer.
Peter Bosz opts for a typically attacking XI, featuring Kevin Volland, Kai Havertz, Julian Brandt and Leon Bailey. Leverkusen are on a decent run but still appear prone to occasional non-performances. Let’s see how they go tonight.
17:30 - Hello, and welcome to the penultimate clash of this Bundesliga weekend. And it's probably the biggest. There's plenty of attention on Peter Bosz' return with and his high line high wire attacking act but there's also the small matter of the Bundesliga title to consider.
Bayern Munich were largely unconvincing on Saturday, relying on a Javi Martinez header from a corner to get them over the line against a Hertha Berlin side that had some decent chances in the first half. But they did win, to move level on points with Dortmund. With the home straight in sight, Lucien Favre will know his side must keep up their intensity and overcome their lack of experience if they're to hold off the men from Bavaria. This looks like a big test.