Jadon Sancho made one and scored his first Bundesliga goal of the season for Borussia Dortmund in their 2-0 victory over Wolfsburg, ending a run of three straight defeats at home.
The England striker, who had gone 16 matches without finding the target, swung in a corner that Manuel Akanji headed home midway through the second half for the opener.
Then in injury time, with Wolfsburg pushing everyone forward, the ball was cleared to Sancho who ran from inside his own half and beat last defender Paulo Otavio before sliding past Koen Casteels.
Both sides had chances to add to the score, with Dortmund striker Erling Haaland twice bringing out good stops from Casteels, the first of which before half-time should have been put away on the rebound by Sancho.
Wout Weghorst also had a number chances for the visitors but failed to trouble Roman Burki with any of them.
The win lifts Dortmund to fourth in the table, six points behind leaders RB Leipzig. Wolfsburg slip to sixth.
TALKING POINT - Reason to believe for Dortmund
After a very poor first 10 minutes, when they could have been two down, Dortmund showed signs that they can recapture their usual status as Bayern's closest challenger in the second half of the season. Although their centre midfield seems to lacks a dominant figure, the spark returning in their forward play - from Haaland and Sancho especially - would have very much encouraged new boss Edin Terzic in his second game in charge.
Sancho looked off the pace in the first half, while Haaland did not get on the ball a great deal until Dortmund began to gain a territorial edge from the 20-minute mark. The goal from Sancho will be of great relief to him and he is certain to be a more regular scorer in 2021. Although Haaland showed frustration at not getting on the scoresheet, he showed more than enough to suggest his best is not far around the corner.
MAN OF THE MATCH - Manuel Akanji (Dortmund)
It wasn't just the goal, though his powerful header from Sancho's corner was the pivotal moment splitting a game that looked like ending up level. He almost made it two as he beat Casteels to a carbon-copy centre from Sancho soon afterwards but headed wide of the target on this occasion.
The majority of his work was done quietly but effectively at the heart of the Dortmund defence, making the key interceptions, clearances and challenges that prevented the visitors from threatening Roman Burki's goal. He was pinpointed by some fans as a player Dortmund needed to replace if they were to challenge for the Bundesliga title this season, but if he continues this form he will be a reason they go close.
Dortmund: Buerki 6; Meunier 7, Akanji 8, Hummels 6 Guerreiro 7; Witsel 6 Delaney 6; Sancho 7, Reus 7, Reyna 6; Haaland 7. Subs: Tigges 6, Can 6, Zagadou 6.
Wolfsburg: Casteels 7; Baku 7, Brooks 6, Pongracic 6 Otavio 7; Gerhardt 6, Arnold 6; Brekalo 6, Schlager 7, Steffen 7; Weghorst 5. Subs: Mehmedi 6, Victor 6, Lacroix 5, Ginczek 6, Bialek 5.
6’ So close for Wolfsburg. Schlager squares a ball that reaches Brekalo eight yards out and it looked destined for the corner of the net but clipped the inner thigh of Hummels and wide for a corner.
45+2’ Sancho had to score there! Haaland did superbly moving into the box and creating space to rifle at goal and after Casteels parried the effort it fell to Sancho on the half-volley but he made half contact at best and it trickled wide for a goal kick.
66’ GOAL! Dortmund 1-0 Wolfsburg (Ajanki). Sancho's outswinging corner is met by Akanji who heads past the outstretched right arm of Casteels and with no man on the back post it bounces into the net.
90+1’ GOAL!Dortmund 2-0 Wolfsburg (Sancho). Sancho scores his first goal of the season as Dortmund cleared a corner, beat Otavio and then slide past Casteels.
- Jadon Sancho notched his first goal of the season.