Borussia Dortmund proved Saturday they can win in the Bundesliga without injured star striker Erling Braut Haaland by grabbing a 2-1 victory at home to Augsburg.
With Haaland again in the stands at Signal Iduna Park having also missed Tuesday’s Champions League win over Sporting Lisbon with a persistent leg injury, Dortmund bounced back from last week’s shock league defeat at Moenchengladbach.
Raphael Guerreiro converted a penalty after ten minutes only for Augsburg to draw level through Swiss striker Andi Zeqiri just before the break.
Germany winger Julian Brandt hit Dortmund’s winner when he smashed Marco Reus’ clever pass into the net six minutes into the second half.
The victory lifts Dortmund to second in Germany’s top flight, a point behind leaders Bayern Munich who host Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday.
Bayer Leverkusen can leapfrog Dortmund into second place on Sunday night if they win at Bielefeld.
Freiburg, the only Bundesliga club along with Bayern who remain unbeaten, are third and level on points with Dortmund after their 2-1 win at Hertha Berlin.
Veteran striker Nils Petersen, 32, who specialises in goals off the bench, grabbed the second-half winner just two minutes after coming on at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium.
Petersen’s perfectly-timed bicycle kick means he has now scored 30 Bundesliga goals as a substitute during his career.
Wolfsburg, league leaders up until a fortnight ago, suffered a second consecutive league defeat to drop to fifth after losing 3-1 at home to resurgent Moenchengladbach, whose American teenager Joe Scally scored his first Bundesliga goal when the 18-year-old fired in the visitors’ third goal deep in added time.
Gladbach built on last weekend’s shock home win over Dortmund by going 2-0 up after just seven minutes in Wolfsburg.
Swiss striker Breel Embolo proved his fitness after a leg injury with a spectacular goal, then set up the second less than two minutes later.
After his deft pass, Jonas Hofmann knocked the ball around advancing Wolfsburg goalkeeper Koen Casteels and tapped into the empty net.
Wolfsburg pulled a goal back when Ridle Baku, left out of the Germany World Cup qualifiers squad announced Friday, whipped in a cross which ricocheted off three players before Luca Waldschmidt fired home to make it 2-1 at the break.
Wolfsburg had defender Maxence Lacroix sent off for a second yellow card after bringing Embolo down with 14 minutes left, then Gladbach captain Lars Stindl had a weak penalty attempt saved.
Wolfsburg defender Jerome Roussillon was also shown a red card, but the referee reversed the decision following a VAR intervention after replays showed he made contact with the ball before bringing Hofmann down.