Dortmund extend Bundesliga lead
Borussia Dortmund moved three points clear at the top of the German Bundesliga tonight thanks to an impressive 2-0 win over Nurnberg at the Frankenstadion.
Sebastian Kehl and Lucas Barrios scored the goals for the defending champions, who put the ball back in Bayern Munich's court as they are now forced to play catch-up against Hamburg tomorrow. Schalke are also now three points adrift of their Westphalian rivals while Nurnberg risk dropping into the bottom three if results elsewhere go against them this weekend.
Dortmund had to weather an early storm at the Frankenstadion with Nurnberg teasing them with a succession of dangerous corners. The first threat came when Marcel Schmelzer appeared to catch the heel of Tomas Pekhart inside the penalty area, but referee Florian Meyer waved play on.
In the tenth minute, Dominic Maroh's shot was blocked as Dortmund continued to struggle to cope with the home team's set pieces. A minute later, Shinji Kagawa headed Timmy Simons' header off the goal line from the next corner. And in the 19th minute, Pekhart shot over the crossbar from just three yards with the ball brushing the woodwork as it missed the target.
Dortmund suddenly emerged from what seemed like an eternity camped inside their own half with Robert Lewandowski put through on goal by Kehl, but Raphael Schafer denied him. Schafer made a fine one-handed save to push Lewandowski's 34th-minute effort over the crossbar before making another good save to deny Kagawa on the goal line.
Dortmund were now in top gear and they took the lead in the 48th minute with Lukasz Piszczek put through on goal. He unselfishly pulled the ball back for Kehl to sidefoot it in from seven yards out. Lewandowski diverted Kehl's 63rd-minute shot into the goal, but from a marginally offside position as the defending champions looked to put the game beyond Nurnberg.
Barrios then sealed the win in the 82nd minute, pouncing on the loose ball after Kagawa's shot was saved and nudging it in past Schafer. It was the Paraguayan's first goal of the season, coming just days after he was removed from the transfer list after failing to find a suitable taker for his services this winter.