Borussia Dortmund topped the Bundesliga rankings on Friday after beating Werder Bremen 1-0 at home thanks to a fantastic chip from Julian Brandt in the second half.
Brandt, who was born in Bremen and was playing in his 300th league game, gave his team the lead with a calm dink over the keeper midway through the second half.
With the victory, Dortmund will go into the weekend one point ahead of Bayer Leverkusen, although the latter can reclaim first place with a victory at Wolfsburg on Saturday.
“I have to say, it went pretty well today,” Brandt said to DAZN after the game.
Brandt commented, “I’m very happy, but very tired,” after returning from Germany’s tour of the United States less than 48 hours before the match. When I’m in bed, that’s when I’ll be happy.
It was a “highly deserved win,” Dortmund manager Edin Terzic stated, “when you see the chances we left behind.”
Coach Ole Werner of Bremen called the outcome “bitter” after his team turned in “a good performance for which we were not rewarded.”
Despite having a lacklustre season thus far, Dortmund entered the game undefeated and tied for first place in the league with Bayern Munich with 17 points after seven games.
The last team to beat Dortmund at home was Bremen, who, in August of last year, scored three goals in six minutes to turn a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 win in extra time.
Midweek, Bremen’s Werner promised that his team will attack their favoured opponents. The visitors looked slick on the counter, but they lacked bite in key situations. This has been a recurring problem ever since star striker Niclas Fuellkrug left for Dortmund in September.
Midway through the first half, Brandt almost provided the opening goal by setting up Marco Reus, but the former Dortmund captain’s attempt sailed narrowly wide of the goal.
Early in the second, Donyell Malen received a fantastic lofted pass from Reus but blasted his shot high and wide.
Brandt took matters into his own hands for Dortmund, receiving an Emre Can pass and chipping Bremen custodian Michael Zetterer for the game’s first goal.
Despite the advantage, Dortmund kept pressing until the final minute, when Zetterer blocked a volley from Sebastien Haller.
Stuttgart can move ahead of Dortmund with a win at Union Berlin on Saturday, while Bayern travels to Mainz, where they have lost their previous three league matches.