Mats Hummels made a goalscoring return from injury as Borussia Dortmund claimed a 3-0 Bundesliga victory over Nuremberg on Saturday.
The defender has seen his season heavily disrupted by fitness issues, with the 25-year-old suffering another ankle injury in a friendly last month shortly after returning from a similar problem that had kept him out since November.
But the Germany international proved hugely influential in just his second Bundesliga start in four months, breaking the deadlock from close range six minutes after the break.
Robert Lewandowski powered home from just outside the penalty area 13 minutes later to make sure of the points, before Henrikh Mkhitaryan added a third in the closing stages as Dortmund returned to winning ways domestically after a disappointing 3-0 defeat at Hamburg last time out.
The result lifts Dortmund to second, thanks to Bayer Leverkusen's home defeat to Mainz, and represents just Nuremburg's second loss in their last nine top-flight matches.
Hummels gave Jurgen Klopp a welcome boost as he slotted into Dortmund's 14th different back-four combination of the season, and the hosts could have been ahead inside the opening four minutes.
Lewandowski threaded the ball through for Mkhitaryan, but Raphael Schafer rushed off his line to gather at the Armenian's feet.
Dortmund continued to press, with Lukasz Piszczek powering wide of the right-hand post moments later, before a Nuremberg backpass presented them with another chance to go ahead.
However, from the resulting indirect free-kick, Lewandowski failed to find a way past the wall of red shirts on the visitors' goal-line.
For all their possession and chances, Dortmund were lacking in killer instinct as Nuremberg soaked up everything that was thrown at them.
And they were almost punished on the half-hour mark, when Josip Drmic pounced on a loose Sokratis pass to tee up Tomas Pekhart, who fired an effort against the post.
Dortmund's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang then had an effort deflected over shortly before the interval as the sides went in goalless at half-time.
Klopp's team finally made their pressure pay in the 51st minute, though, as the returning Hummels tapped home the rebound after Schafer had parried a powerful Lewandowski header.
And it should have been 2-0 four minutes later, when Mkhitaryan had an effort superbly pushed wide of the left-hand upright, before having a goal ruled out for offside just before the hour mark.
But Lewandowski found himself in space 20 yards out in 64th minute, and put the result beyond doubt with a low drive into the bottom right-hand corner of the net.
Mkhitaryan and Schafer were locked in a fascinating battle throughout, and the midfielder finally got the better of the visiting goalkeeper seven minutes from time, sliding home after a delightful through pass from substitute Jonas Hofmann.
|Coach: J. Klopp|
for S. Papastathopoulos 36'
for P. Aubameyang 71'
for H. Mkhitaryan 85'
|Appeals Committee upholds Simeone´s three-game ban|
|Klopp baffled by Liverpool defensive collapse|
|Villarreal 1 Liverpool 0: Adrian hands injury-time advantage to La Liga side|
|Shakhtar Donetsk 2 Sevilla 2: Gameiro nets late penalty to salvage draw|
|Bayern Munich v Borussia Monchengladbach: Wounded Bayern on the brink of Bundesliga glory|
|Reina lauds Atletico ´super-team´|
|AC Milan announce €89.3m loss|
|Wilshere: Injuries inevitable with my style of play|
|Atletico Madrid v Rayo Vallecano: Saul demands La Liga focus|
|Mancini feels Toure swoop is unlikely|
|Atletico a joy to watch, says Allardyce|
|Liverpool ordered to pay record tribunal fee to Burnley for Ings|
|Klaassen not interested in Napoli move|
|Borussia Dortmund v Wolfsburg: Hummels transfer request disrupts hosts´ preparation|
|Alli banned for the rest of Spurs´ season by FA|
|West Brom v West Ham: Bilic tips Pulis to put up a fight|
|Agbonlahor steps down as Aston Villa captain|
|Real Betis v Barcelona: Mixed emotions for Montoya as visitors close in on title|
|Hummels tells Dortmund he wants Bayern move|
|Matuidi out of PSG-Rennes clash|
|Newcastle United v Crystal Palace: Pardew poised for St James´ return|
|Flores reveals Watford break clause|
|England´s Jones helps Pardew keep Eagles grounded|
|Arsenal v Norwich City: Under-fire Wenger buoyed by easing injury woes|
|Forster: Chelsea rumours a compliment|
|Lambert to leave Blackburn|
|Sakho provisionally suspended by UEFA|
|Stoke City v Sunderland: Allardyce wary of wounded Potters|
|Falcao: USA can win Copa America|
|Madrid confirm Benzema hamstring strain|
|Everton v AFC Bournemouth: Martinez wants repeat of Wembley second-half|
|Fabregas wants title challenge under Conte|
|The pressure got to me at Tottenham, reveals Soldado|
|Bilic has no concerns over Cresswell future|
|Bilic: I might have to be a Manchester United fan!|
|Real Sociedad v Real Madrid: Carvajal hoping to cope without Benzema and Ronaldo|
|Martinez: Judge me over three seasons, not two or three months|
|Unhappy Muller accepts being dropped for Atletico clash|
|Cattermole crucial to Sunderland relegation fight - Allardyce|
|Leicester success not a one-off - Mandaric|
|There cannot be two coaches of Inter - Mancini|
|Guardiola: Don´t compare Saul to Messi|
|MLS Review: NYC stumble again, Timbers hold Revolution|
|America 2 Tigres UANL 1 (4-1 agg): Arroyo, Martinez seal win|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Rosario claim away advantage, Corinthians hold Nacional|
|PSG prospect Edouard signs first professional contract|
|Gap between Juventus and Milan is ´embarrassing´ - Sacchi|
|Mancini: I made some errors this season|
|Schlupp: Leicester are playing to win the title|
|Leicester showing nothing is impossible - Del Piero|
|Zidane does not like James, claims Valderrama|
|Pressure on ´legendary´ Liverpool - Marcelino|
|Madrid clash ´career-defining´ - Kompany|
|Neuer: We have to be awake in Munich|
|Moreno: I´m at my best thanks to Klopp|
|Bale: City are elite but Madrid more mature|
|We showed we belong - Oblak|
|Torres: This is for the Atletico supporters|
|Alonso: It could have been worse but Bayern still believe|
|Simeone praises ´best´ Atletico after Bayern triumph|
|Guardiola blames slow start for Bayern loss|
|Saul hails most important and beautiful goal of his career|
|Filipe Luis lauds Atletico match-winner Saul|
|Chelsea down City for third straight FA Youth Cup|
|Atletico Madrid 1 Bayern Munich 0: No joy for Pep as Saul answers the call|
|Lille 0 Angers 0: Coupe de la Ligue finalists frustrated in stalemate|
|Lucescu plays down Konoplyanka factor|
|Experience can count for nothing, Klopp warns Liverpool|
|Sevilla are ready to make history - Emery|
|Klopp delight for Hillsborough families|
|Cosmos boss claim contact with Totti|
|Paris Saint-Germain v Rennes: Pastore insists champions remain motivated|
|Ronaldo will be ´80 per cent´ fit... according to his mother|
|Europa League a ´dream´ for Villarreal and Soldado|
|Ozil: Third place will mean Arsenal have achieved target|
|The Bendtner experiment was a failure - Allofs|
|Infantino wants friendly between North and South Korea|
|´The worst cash out decision in history´ - Leicester backer bailed on 5000/1 bet - for 95p!|
|Sakho will not contest doping offence, but has Euro 2016 lifeline|
|Ibrahimovic, Di Maria, Ben Arfa up for Ligue 1 award|
|Simeone banned for rest of Liga season|
|Cazorla open to Villarreal return|
|RB Leipzig rejected Vardy for being ´too old´ at 27|
|Villa: Griezmann at Messi and Ronaldo´s level|
|ICC chief dreams of hosting Old Firm derby at Wembley|
|Evra: Allegri has no time for idiots|
|Beckenbauer backs Hoeness to step in for Sammer at Bayern|
|Benzema is France´s best striker - Sagna|
|Guardiola: Bayern success hinges on Champions League|
|´Never give up and be positive´ - Ronaldo rallies Madrid team-mates|
|Hart performance was ´Schmeichel-esque´ - Ferdinand|
|Benitez relieved for Hillsborough families|
|It´s hard without Ronaldo - Kroos|
|Former Inter midfielder Mariga banned for five games for injuring referee|
|Nichols free to play grand final|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Mosquera gives Tachira advantage, Nacional hold Huracan|
|Sampaoli: I almost joined Chelsea|
|Leicester´s triumph unbelievable, but deserved - Fletcher|
|Szczesny wants Roma stay|
|Torres: Nothing would compare to winning a title with Atleti|
|Ramos satisfied with 0-0 draw|
|Filipe Luis: Leicester are like Atletico|
|Ronaldo is not a child - Casemiro|
|Lewandowski: Maybe I will play in England or Spain|
|There are ´a million´ more disappointing results than 0-0 - Kompany|
|Leicester don´t need Vardy to win title at United, says Simpson|
|Dalglish: Families deserve Hillsborough verdict|
|Moving Southampton game impossible - Pellegrini|
|Tavecchio coy on Conte replacement|
|Pellegrini accuses Madrid of lacking intent in stalemate|
|Bale pleased with Madrid display|
|Ronaldo, Benzema doubtful for second leg against City|