Marco Reus and Emre Can’s first goals were conceded Borussia Dortmund three points at the top of the Bundesliga on Friday with a 2-1 home win over RB Leipzig.
Dortmund captain Reus won and converted a penalty after 21 minutes and Can doubled the lead with five minutes remaining with a long-range shot from outside the box.
The win was Dortmund’s 10th from 10 games in 2023 and put the pressure back on former leaders Bayern Munich, who travel to Stuttgart on Saturday.
After the match, Reus told DAZN “we have to hold on to the end” but said “our goal was to steal the top of the table back and we did it” .
A “very satisfied” Dortmund coach, Edin Terzic, said his team “played a very good game in the first half and in the second half they defended with determination”.
“The second half was very disappointing but you can see that it is not easy to score goals against us,” he said.
“Today the two best teams in the Bundesliga played against each other.”
Leipzig Manager Marco Rose said the result was “hard to accept” and praised Dortmund’s “quality”.
“We have to do a lot to show in this constant situation, but I think we also showed what we can do,” he added.
Both sides were hit by late withdrawals before the game, with Leipzig striker Timo Werner forced to the bench due to injury and Dortmund goalkeeper Gregor Kobel injured in the warm-up.
Julian Brandt found the ball in the net for Dortmund after 15 minutes when he controlled a high pass from Jude Bellingham and slotted the ball past RB goalkeeper Janis Blaswich.
However, a VAR review showed that the German team controlled the ball before delivering his shot.
Reus came into the box just five minutes later and won the kick despite not going down.
He flicked the ball to the left of Blaswich’s outstretched arm to put Dortmund 1-0 ahead.
Marcel Halstenberg had the chance to equalize after 35 minutes when he connected with a clever cross from Swedish midfielder Emil Forsberg, but the German defense erupted.
Former Liverpool midfielder Can doubled Dortmund’s lead before the break, taking a long-range shot into a packed penalty box and into the goal.
Leipzig, who had lost just one of their last 22 games heading into Friday, found their stride in the second half, with Portugal international Andre Silva going close a minute after the break.
Dortmund goalkeeper Alexander Meyer denied Silva midway through the second half, but Leipzig continued to push and cut the deficit in the 74th minute through Forsberg.
Germany’s David Raum, who came off the bench in the 60th minute, cut a ski pass to the feet of Dortmund defender Nico Schlotterbeck, allowing Forsberg to dive.
Rose, who was in the Dortmund dugout in the same game last season, brought Werner to find an equaliser.
The first Chelsea The player almost scored a point for the visitors with a shot in injury time but his German team-mate Schlotterbeck cleared the danger.