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'
|Mourinho tells Ronaldo: Team honours come first|
|Khedira returns to Juve training|
|Celtic v Qarabag: Champions League return of utmost importance, says Collins|
|Pellegrini: Jovetic had to go|
|Manquillo completes Marseille move|
|Schalke reject Juve´s Draxler bid|
|Blanc: Di Maria deal ´close´|
|Di Santo debut ends in stalemate|
|Fire sign Drogba, trade him to Montreal Impact|
|FIFA and UEFA welcome ruling on third-party ownership|
|Juve kick off title defence against Udinese|
|Stoke sign free agent Afellay|
|Benitez confident Ramos will stay|
|Fenerbahce issue warning to fans|
|UEFA Champions League Preview: De Boer confident Ajax are ready for Vienna test|
|Bility: I am the favourite for FIFA presidency|
|Pienaar to miss start of season|
|Vietnam 1 Manchester City 8: Sterling shines as tourists run riot|
|All-Star Keane relishing Spurs clash|
|Shaun Wright-Phillips joins brother Bradley at Red Bulls|
|Inter 0 Real Madrid 3: Rodriguez stunner caps comfortable win|
|Villa sign Ayew|
|Watford complete Berghuis transfer|
|Robben returns to Bayern training|
|Pulis anxious to make West Brom additions|
|David Luiz eager to welcome ´fantastic´ Di Maria|
|Fernando injury free ahead of new campaign|
|Hummels blames weight issues for poor season|
|Defoe hoping for early Sunderland goals|
|Depay hints at identity of ´surprise´ United striker|
|Tigres UANL v River Plate: Hosts look to bounce back and make history|
|Crespo set for Villa move|
|Terry: I would never join a Premier League rival|
|Van Gaal coy on United future|
|Romero to cover potential De Gea exit - Van Gaal|
|Uruguay win men´s football gold at Pan Am Games|
|Pirlo thanks New York City fans for ´beautiful´ welcome|
|Mexico capitalised on ´the mistakes we made´ - Schafer|
|Herrera delighted with Mexico display|
|MLS Review: Whitecaps build happy home, Pirlo debuts|
|Guardado wins Golden Ball at Gold Cup|
|NZF confirms Olympics disqualification appeal|
|Jamaica 1 Mexico 3: CONCACAF giants complete form turnaround|
|New York Red Bulls 2 Benfica 1: Another scalp for MLS side|
|Romero signs with United|
|Moghreb Tetouan 1 Al Hilal Omdurman 1: Visitors go top|
|Van Gaal rules out Ronaldo bid|
|Pique open to Barca captaincy|
|Pirlo makes MLS bow in thrilling NYC victory|
|Coutinho and Can return for Liverpool U21s|
|Walcott deal ´closer´, says Wenger|
|Arsenal 1 Wolfsburg 0: Walcott the match-winner in Emirates Cup finale|
|Di Santo links up with Schalke squad|
|Lukaku treble sinks Hearts|
|Benitez again refutes Ronaldo rift rumours|
|Pepe sure Ramos will stay at Real|
|City target De Bruyne named Germany´s Player of the Year|
|Montero spoils McCarthy´s Palace debut|
|Lyon 0 Villarreal 2: Soriano, Baptistao seal comfortable win in Emirates Cup|
|Wijnaldum on target as Newcastle are held|
|Mourinho: Rivals trying to buy the title|
|Jovetic set for Inter medical|
|RFS in ´denial´ over racism issue, claims Football Against Racism in Europe|
|Salah not staying at Chelsea - Mourinho|
|Mbemba closes in on Newcastle switch|
|Ibrahimovic: Di Maria will take PSG to another level|
|Delph: Don´t compare me to Pogba|
|Dundee United sign Sneijder|
|Morata relishing new-look Juve strikeforce|
|Strachan "not scared" of England after World Cup qualifying draw|
|Brazil claim football, basketball, handball gold in Toronto|
|Lampard´s debut delayed again, Pirlo ready to play|
|Mourinho open to Premier League matches in US|
|MLS Review: Texas unites to hurt Galaxy|
|Luis Enrique: United can emulate Barca revival|
|Van Gaal singles out Januzaj, hails United´s forwards|
|Blanc still hopeful PSG will sign Di Maria|
|Irish international Cunningham seeks Bristol City exit|
|Italy embracing Spain challenge in World Cup qualifying|
|Dos Santos brothers in doubt for Gold Cup final|
|PSG 1 Chelsea 1 (aet, 5-6 on penalties): Courtois clinches victory for Mourinho´s men|
|United States 1 Panama 1 (aet, 2-3 on penalties): Mejia denies hosts third|
|ES Setif 1 Al Merreikh 1: Sudanese deny title-holders at home|
|CONCACAF admit referee errors in Gold Cup semi-final|
|Dutch favourites in Group A - Deschamps|
|Barcelona 1 Manchester United 3: Rooney, Lingard and Januzaj maintain winning start|