RB Leipzig 0 Borussia Dortmund 1: Witsel restores six-point cushion

Borussia Dortmund responded to Bayern Munich's victory over Hoffenheim on Friday by beating RB Leipzig on Saturday.

Published : Jan 20, 2019 08:07 IST

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Axel Witsel (L)  celebrates scoring against RB Leipzig
Borussia Dortmund midfielder Axel Witsel (L) celebrates scoring against RB Leipzig

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Axel Witsel (L) celebrates scoring against RB Leipzig

Axel Witsel's first-half strike saw Borussia Dortmund restore its six-point advantage at the Bundesliga summit with a 1-0 victory over RB Leipzig. 

In its first match after the mid-season break, leader Dortmund responded to Bayern Munich's 3-1 win over Hoffenheim on Friday with a battling win over fourth-placed Leipzig. 

Belgium international Witsel drilled a shot in off the underside of the crossbar in the 19th minute, and that proved enough for Lucien Favre's side to triumph in the injury-enforced absence of Marco Reus. 

Timo Werner and Marcel Sabitzer were unable to pounce on opportunities to equalise and Dortmund - which introduced Christian Pulisic in the 76th minute for his first appearance since signing for Chelsea - could pull nine points clear with its next match against Hannover coming 24 hours before Bayern faces Stuttgart. 

Dayot Upamecano and Ibrahima Konate did well to keep Mario Gotze and Maximilian Philipp at bay respectively in the opening 15 minutes, but Leipzig's defence was soon undone. 

Raphael Guerreiro's corner was flicked on by Lukasz Piszczek and Witsel, who also scored in the reverse fixture earlier this season, took a touch before firing home with assistance from the frame of the goal.

Abdou Diallo headed narrowly wide before half-time and Philipp was denied by a great save from Peter Gulacsi eight minutes into the second period.

At the other end, Roman Burki slipped as Thomas Delaney passed back to him and the goalkeeper sent the ball straight to Werner. He lunged in with a tackle that dispossessed the Leipzig striker, who felt he had been fouled, and Yussuf Poulsen was unable to get an effort away on the follow-up.

Burki looked far more assured when he kept out Sabitzer, before substitute Paco Alcacer saw his 90th-minute effort bounce down off the bar and stay out.

Matheus Cunha headed narrowly wide in stoppage time as Leipzig's unbeaten home Bundesliga run ended after a club-record 10 matches.

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