Efficient Dortmund edge past Leipzig 2-1 to move into top spot
DORTMUND, Germany (Reuters) - Borussia Dortmund took a two-goal lead in the first half and hung on for a nervous 2-1 victory over RB Leipzig on Friday to go top of the Bundesliga and stretch their perfect run in 2023 to eighth straight league wins.
A Marco Reus penalty and a deflected shot from Emre Can in the first half put them in the driving seat before Leipzig pulled a goal back through Emil Forsberg late in the second half.
The Ruhr valley club, who travel to Chelsea on Tuesday for their Champions League last 16 second leg leading 1-0, were brutally efficient, scoring twice with just three shots on goal in the entire game.
They are now on 49 points, three points clear of second-placed Bayern Munich, in action against VfB Stuttgart on Saturday while Leipzig's second defeat in four league games sees them stuck in fourth place on 42.
Yet it was the hosts who were on the backfoot at the start, and they were lucky not to fall behind after Leipzig's fit-again Christopher Nkunku, in his first start since November, failed to convert two early chances.
Dortmund struck against the run of play in the 21st minute when Reus was brought down by keeper Janis Blaswich in the box and the Dortmund captain stepped up to drill in the penalty and move into second place on the club's all-time scorers' list with his 159th goal.
They added another before the break when Emre Can's shot from 20 metres took a slight deflection in the 39th but stepped off the gas after the break, handing control to Leipzig once more.
The Bulls earned a deserved goal when Forsberg slid in at the far post in the 74th but despite a flurry of late chances with Timo Werner and Forsberg they could not find an equaliser.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Christian Radnedge)