Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the lone goal as Borussia Dortmund overcame relegation-threatened Ingolstadt 1-0 in the 25th round opener of the German Bundesliga on Friday.
Second-bottom team Ingolstadt staged a resilient performance against third-placed Dortmund. Yet, the visitors failed to snatch points on the road, as they continued to be wasteful in front of the target.
The “BVB” returned to winning ways with an early goal as Bundesliga top striker Aubameyang broke the deadlock in the 14th minute when he tapped in a cross from Marcel Schmelzer to score his 23rd goal of the season.
Ingolstadt reacted with furious attacks but were unable to beat the hosts’ goalkeeper Roman Buerki who protected the narrow lead by defusing Mathew Leckie’s header on target in the 19th minute.
The visitors kept it bowling and worked out another opportunity but Alfredo Morales pulled wide from promising position eight minutes later.
On the other hand, Thomas Tuchel’s men remained dangerous on fast breaks but neither Christian Pulisic nor Erik Durm were able to finish off counter attacks around the half-hour mark.
Ingolstadt should have restored parity before the break but for all that custodian Buerki was on guard to deny both Almog Cohen and Sonny Kittel from close range.
After the restart, Ingolstadt continued to press for the equalizer. However, despite a number of chances, the “Schanzer” were unable to overcome Dortmund’s defense, especially goalie Buerki.
With the result, Dortmund moves within three points of runners-up Leipzig while Ingolstadt remains on the 17th place, which is a direct relegation spot.
On Saturday, Werder Bremen host second-placed Leipzig, Cologne encounter Hertha Berlin, Wolfsburg see last-placed Darmstadt, Augsburg face Freiburg, Hoffenheim clash with Bayer Leverkusen and Frankfurt take in Hamburg.
(With Inputs From Xinhua)