Dortmund have kept back-to-back clean sheets for the first time this season, as the German domestic campaign entered the winter break with BVB sat in fifth after a 1-0 win over TSG Hoffenheim at home this afternoon.
Making four changes from the side that progressed through to the Pokal Quarter-Finals on Thursday, bringing Dennis Praet, Lars Bender, Staven Jovetic and Marcel Schmelzer back into the starting XI, with the latter scoring the only goal of the game with ten minutes played.
Praet’s corner wasn’t cleared by the visitors, and with Götze and Hummels both having efforts blocked in the bopx, Jovetic worked the ball out to Marcel Schmelzer who slotted home at the far post for his first goal of the season.
BVB huffed and puffed and drew some smart saves from Tim Wiese in the Hoffenheim goal, but with Schürrle and Perisic hitting the post during the second-half, Dortmund held on to collect 24 points out of 27 at home by the half-way mark.
Four changes for Dortmund from the midweek cup win over Frankfurt. In comes Lars Bender and Dennis Praet replacing Bourard and Großkreutz in the middle, Stevan Jovetic is back in the starting XI taking Schieber’s spot upfront, and Röcker makes way for Marcel Schmelzer at left-back. Hoffenheim’s Marcel Schäfer is set to make his 325th career league appearance.
Dortmund will stay 5th this evening, but can use this game-in-hand to keep the gap to Wolfsburg at four points. Hoffenheim can move up two places to 8th.
 It’s a breezy and sunny afternoon, and Günter Perl gives the whistle for the visitors to kick-off! No other matches taking place at the same time, with Nürnberg hosting Hertha Berlin tonight.
 Positive start from Dortmund who are putting the TSG centre-backs under early pressure. Vestergaard making a good challenge on Jovetic before clearing a pair of Schürrle’s crosses.
 Stephan Fürstner up-ends Schmelzer and goes into the book.
 Heinz Lindner has an easy save to make from the head of Villaluz before Eren Derdiyok screws a shot wide from the edge of the box.
 Dortmund win the first corner as Schäfer heads behind a Praet free-kick into the box following Sanrkoh’s foul on schürrle.
 DORTMUND 1-0 HOFFENHEIM: The hosts take the lead from the set-piece as Hoffenheim fail to clear their lines. Praet’s delivery is headed away at the near post but Götze follows-up with a shot blocked in the six-yard box. Hummels and finally Jovetic work it wide into the path of Marcel Schmelzer who tucks away at the far post.
 Tim Wiese saves well low-down at the feet of Jovetic after the Dortmund striker beats the offside trap. Reus has a chance with the rebound but is closed down.
 Andreas Beck is cautioned as he pulls back Roberto Firmino.
 Corner for BVB as Götze counters and has his cross put behind. Wiese saves from Hummels.
 Beck slides in on Firmino and is penalised with a free-kick. Looked harsh, but the Dortmund right-back is on thin ice.
 Hummels heads away a Villaluz free-kick into the box. BVB giving their opponents too many opportunities to get balls into the danger zone.
 Praet whips a free-kick around the wall but just wide from 25 yards out.
 Jovetic and Praet combine well on the edge of the area before the Belgian smashes a drive inches over the top.
 Corner for Hoffenheim, their first, as Santana gets back to deflect a ball behind. Schürrle heads away Villaluz’s delivery. BVB counter immediately and the ball is whipped across goal by Jovetic but Götze can’t turn it home.
 Compper heads narrowly wide at the far post from a second Hoffenheinm corner. Visitors perhaps shading possession and chance creation of late. Hosts getting into good areas but overworking situations and losing the ball.
 Corner BVB. Götze’s cross takes a touch off a defender and goes behind. After some pinball in the six-yard box, TSG clear.
 Great save from Wiese as Reus is played-in by Götze. Surman imploring his team to be a bit more cut-throat. Lars Bender drills a shot well-wide from the edge of the box.
 Lindner makes a great save from a Williams rcket from all of 30 yards.
 End-to-end stuff, with TSG winning another corner. Fürstner gets up above Hummels, but Andreas Beck clears it off the line at the near post.
[45+1] Right on the stroke of half-time, Wiese saves well from a 20-yard Bender effort which was angling towards the top corner. As the ‘keeper holds on, Günter Perl ushers in the interval.
HALF-TIME: Borussia Dortmind 1-0 TSG Hoffenheim (Bundesliga).
 No changes at the break, Dortmund get us back under way!
 Reus has a long range effort, but isn’t on target.
 Lars Bender has an audcaious go from 30 yards that Wiese has to tip over the top at full stretch. From the corner he pulls off another great asve, denying Hummels.
 Wiese saves again from Bender. Heavy pressure from Dortmund, but they’re not getting the killer second they’re looking for.
 First change of the match: Dortmund bring on Samy Bourard for Praet (7.0).
 Reus gets a shot away on the half-volley from Schürrle’s chip forwards but he’s off-target. it’s his last action as BVB make a double-change. On come Ivan Perisic and Robert Lewandowski for Reus (6.7) and Jovetic (7.0). Hoffenheim make a change too: Fabian Johnson replaces Villaluz (6.9).
 Eren Derdiyok holds his head in his hands after being gifted a gilt-edged chance to draw Hoffenheim level when Santana slips under his pressure leaving him clean through. Lindner closes the angle but he fires over the bar.
 Second change for Hoffenheim: Christoph Moritz is on for Williams (7.1).
 Woodwork! Andre Schürrle is played in behind the back four and smashes a shot towards goal from the edge of the box, beating Wiese but it comes back off the far post.
 Lewandowski wins Dortmund their seventh corner, but Hoffenheim clear.
 Woodwork! Ivan Perisic smashes a shot against the outside of the post from twelve yards out after Lewandowski’s pull-back. Hoffenheim clinging on in the hope of snatching a point here.
 Tobias Weis has Hoffenheim’s first effort in a while, but it’s a wayward shot from distance.
 Robert Lewandowski fires narrowly wide after Bourard lays the ball off to him just inside the box. Dortmund need to be careful that in pushing hard for a second, they don’t get picked-off on a counter.
 Corner for the visitors, who are seeing a lot of the ball lately. Dortmund defending well though. Final change for TSG who replace Schäfer (7.0) with Stephan Schröck.
 Into the final five. BVB holding off the Hoffenheim attacks, while pressuring the visitors with their own. Midfields having the most of the ball recently.
 Johnson lets the ball bounce and Götze is in behind him. He gets to the goal line and squares for Perisic whose shot takes a touch and Wiese has to gather right on the line.
 Three additional minutes indicated. Wiese pushes a Bourard drive away.
[90+2] Corner for BVB, won by Götze on a counter attack. Cleared away, but Dortmund win another. No time to take it though…
FULL-TIME: Borussia Dortmund 1-0 TSG Hoffenheim (Bundesliga). [PKM]
On first reaction it seems a hard-fought win over a promoted side who have pulled off some impressive results this season, but BVB were much better throughout and had chances to put the game away.
Squad came through the match without picking-up any knocks and the German domestic season now heads into its winter break while BVB fly to Morocco tomorrow for the FIFA Club World Cup. Two matches between them and a glorious fifth trophy in eight months.
Back-to-back clean sheets for first time since May.
- 19.12: FIFA Club World Cup SF v. New York Red Bulls / Al-Sadd QC (in Morocco)
- 22.12: FIFA Club World Cup Final TBC (Casablanca)
- 03.01: Winter Friendly Borussia Dortmund v. TSV Alemannia Aachen (Signal Iduna Park)
- 07.01: Winter Friendly SV Sandhausen v. Borussia Dortmund (Hardtwaldstadion)
- 10.01: Winter Friendly DSC Arminia Bielefeld v. Borussia Dortmund (SchücoArena)