Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund defended their three-point advantage over Bayern Munich ahead of Wednesday night's big match with the Bavarians in Westphalia thanks to an impressive 3-1 win at Wolfsburg.
Two goals from Robert Lewandowski and an Ilkay Gundogan strike were enough to keep Jurgen Klopp's men on course for a successful defence of their Bundesliga title.
Mario Mandzukic made them sweat with a goal which made it 2-1 after an hour, but the home side were unable to equalise and lost Alexander Madlung to a red card in the 84th minute before Lewandowski's second goal sealed Dortmund's win.
Lewandowski bags the lead
Lewandowski failed to give Dortmund the start they were looking for when he slid a shot wide of Diego Benaglio, but also wide of the far post from the edge of the penalty area in the ninth minute.
Mats Hummels sent a header onto the roof of the net in the 14th minute before Lewandowski put Dortmund in front. Ivan Perisic's cross from the left was an open invitation for the Polish striker, who just needed to stick out his leg to convert from close range.
Wolfsburg's response was immediate, with Manduzkic's shot saved by Roman Weidenfeller's foot and Patrick Helmes hitting the loose ball wide of the goal. Mandzukic should have given Wolfsburg a flying start to the second half, but he scuffed his shot from the edge of the area as the Dortmund defence opened up in front of him.
Gundogan gets the second
Dortmund then gave themselves a bit of breathing space with the second in the 49th minute. Jakub Blaszczykowski went down in the area, but the ball fell out to Gundogan, who settled himself to curl his shot beyond the reach of Benaglio into the top right-hand corner of the goal.
Blaszczykowski hit the crossbar in the 59th minute before Mandzukic reduced the arrears with a header from six yards out as he met Dejagah's cross. Sebastian Kehl and Shinji Kagawa both missed chances to restore Dortmund's two-goal advantage and they were made to suffer as Wolfsburg launched a late assault.
The home side lost Madlung to a second yellow card, but they continued to press until a mistake by Marcel Schafer let in Lewandowski, who raced through and flicked the ball past Benaglio with the outside of his boot to seal the win in the last minute.