Bundesliga wrap: Dortmund, Bayern set pace at the top
Borussia Dortmund maintained their three-point lead ahead of Bayern Munich atop the Bundesliga after a 3-1 win at Wolfsburg on Saturday.
Dortmund - who drew 4-4 with Stuttgart in their last fixture - avoided dropping points for the second game in a row with an impressive win at the Volkswagen Arena.
Polish forward Robert Lewandowski had the first chance of the match but he fired wide with only Wolfsburg goalkeeper Diego Benaglio to beat after just nine minutes.
Lewandowski made up for his earlier miss though, as he gave the visitors the lead after 21 minutes.
Ivan Perisic burst down the left flank and sent a fizzing ball across the face of goal, which the scorer poked home from close range.
Mario Mandzukic and Patrick Helmes squandered chances for Wolfsburg to equalise quickly but Dortmund's slender lead remained at the break.
Mandzukic scuffed a shot straight at Dortmund shot-stopper Roman Weidenfeller early in the second half and they were made to pay for their miss as Jakub Blaszczykowski did well to supply Ilkay Gundogan, who beat Benaglio to extend the visitors' lead.
Blaszczykowski then hit the crossbar and Wolfsburg made things interesting as Mandzukic headed home Ashkan Dejagah's cross.
Wolfsburg pushed more and more men forward in search of an equaliser, although they suffered a blow when Alexander Madlung was given a second yellow card with six minutes left.
And the numerical advantage told as substitute Moritz Leitner played in Lewandowski, who finished emphatically as Dortmund sealed an important victory.
Bayern kept the pressure on the leaders though as they won their ninth match in a row in all competitions thanks to a 2-1 home success against Augsburg.
Mario Gomez opened the scoring after just 24 seconds, tapping in after his initial volley was saved, and although Koo Ja-Cheol equalised midway through the first half from close range, Bayern sealed the win when Gomez grabbed his second on the hour mark.
Stuttgart kept up their scoring form with a 4-1 win over Mainz, with Bosnian Vedad Ibisevic bagging a double, while Daniel Caligiuri and Cedric Makiadi scored in the second half as Freiburg came from behind to draw 2-2 with Nurenberg.
Bottom-placed Kaiserslautern lost 2-1 at home to Hoffenheim, Cologne and Werder Bremen played out a 1-1 draw while Borussia Moenchengladbach and Hertha Berlin could not be separated in a goalless stalemate.