BVB completed the league double over Stuttgart for the third successive season with a 2-1 win on the road that pulls them away at the top of the table, increasing the lead over Leverkusen (who have played a game more) to four points.
Gray Surman kept an unchanged side from the one that came through the nine-goal thriller at Nürnberg a week ago, and Jos Verniers repeated scoring the opening goal inside the first ten minutes when he flicked home a Marco Reus cross with just eight minutes played.
Chasing their first win in seven matches, Stuttgart turned up the pressure and were level five minutes later when Tamás Hajnal turned home from close range from a ball squared across the box by Artur Boka. Both sides looked dangerous going forwards, and Zdarvko Kuzmanovic came close five minutes before the break when his free-kick crashed against the bar from distance.
The hosts couldn’t hold out until the interval though, and Dortmund retook the lead in the 44th minute when substitute Andreas Beck floated a cross in that Ivan Perisic looped over the top of the ‘keeper which dropped over the line before it could be cleared away.
Robert Lewandowski drilled home a great finish seven minutes after the break, but was ruled-out by a correct offside flag and despite both teams showing attacking prowess on the break, neither could find the game’s fourth goal.
Welcome to the Mercedes-Benz-Arena where 15th place Stuttgart welcome leaders Dortmund to town as both play one of their games in hand over the rest of the league. The hosts sit three points above the dreaded bottom three, and can climb to 12th.
Dortmund are a point clear of Leverkusen, and three clear of third-place Schalke, and have two games in hand over both of them. The other match will be the visit of Wolfsburg next Wednesday.
Dortmund won the home match 5-0 back in October, with captain Mats Hummels scoring four goals, and Marco Reus also on the scoresheet. Stuttgart had Arthur Boka sent-off for a two-footer on Reus midway through the second-half.
Dortmund are unchanged from last week’s 5-4 extra-time win over Nürnberg which set-up a DFB-Pokal Final against fierce rivals Schalke.
 Felix Zwayer gets us under way!
 Early free-kick for Dortmund as Jung holds back Schürrle shortly after Dortmund kick-off. Reus floats the ball in, but it’s headed away. Dortmund get the ball back into the box for Perisic, but he’s dispossed by a sliding Jung challenge, and it’s a corner.
 There’s a scramble and the ball drops nicely for Julian Koch, but he has his effort blocked in the box. The ball comes straight back to him and he has a follow-up shot charged down.
 Stuttgart not holding back in the challenges today, Felix Zwayer might have a busy day today at this rate. Reus flagged offside as the visitors appeal for a free-kick just outside the box.
 STUTTGART 0-1 DORTMUND: Jos Verniers scored his first goal for the club with the opener last week and he’s doubled his tally in similar fashion today. Marco Reus turns Rogne inside out on Dortmund’s right-wing before whipping in a low cross that Verniers clips home at the near post.
 Dortmund come within a whisker of adding a second on a breakaway. Subotic fires a ball long for Schürrle who crosses deep for Reus. His header is saved at point-blank by Ulreich who then gets back up to tip over a driev from Lewandowski.
 Hummels heads inches over the top from the corner.
 STUTTGART 1- 1 DORTMUND: It’s all square as Boka gets away down the left, leaves Koch standing and sends a ball right across the six-yard box for Tamás Hajnal to slot past Lindner from close range.
 Gone a little quiet since the equaliser, but the hosts are seeing more of the ball now. Dortmund keeping men back and looking for quick balls over the top for Schürrle and Reus.
 Martin Harnik drills a low shot wide from fully 30 yards.
 Foul by Julian Koch by the corner flag, but Dortmund head away the cross.
 Dortmund break forwards but Lewandowski is under pressure as he gets a shot away and it fizzes wide from 20 yards.
 Julian Koch looks like he’s taken a knock following a challenge from Rogne. Stuttgart retain possession and win a corner when a cross from Jung deflects behind off Schmelzer.
 Andreas Beck replaces Koch (6.9) for Dortmund’s first change.
 Gentner asks a question of Lindner with a curling effort from 22 yards but the Austrian ‘keeper is more than a match for it.
 Verniers catches Hajnal late and escapes a booking. Stuttgart temporarily down to ten as he gets treatment.
 Woodwork! Zdravko Kuzmanovic has a go with the free-kick and crashes against the Dortund crossbar from thirty yards out. It’s still rattling as the ball spins up in the air and Subotic clears.
 STUTTGART 1-2 DORTMUND: The visitors are back in front with another cross from the right. This time it’s substitute Andreas Beck who floats a cross into the box for Ivan Perisic who times his run perfectly and loops a header over Ulreich that drops in over the line past the defender chasing back. Tenth of the season for the Croatian.
 One additional minute.
[45+1] The flag stays down as Jung looks like he’s taken the ball over the goal line before crossing into the six-yard box. Subotic heads away in front of his ‘keeper but it only falls as far as Christian Gentner. He really should draw the host level but he drills a half-volley wide from twelve yards.
HALF-TIME: VfB Stuttgart 1-2 Borussia Dortmund (Bundesliga).
[HT] No changes at the break, and Dortmund maybe just deserving of the lead at the break, but Gentner had a glorious chance to level seconds before the half-time whistle. Who can start the second half brightest?
 Caution for Jos Verniers just 22 seconds after Stuttgart kick-off. He has a hold of Hajnal’s shirt and sees the first yellow card of the game.
 Harnik has a pop from outsie the box but it’s always heading wide.
 Hajnal wins a corner when Beck slides in and robs him of the ball in the box.
 Offside! Robert Lewandowski finds the bottom corner with a fine strike from outside the box, alas he’s a yard offside from Schürrle’s ball.
 Verniers makes a good challenge to outmuscle ajnal but he’s a little late on Harnik seconds later. Leniency from the referee, and there’s action on the Dortmund bench.
 Sven Bender replaces Verniers (7.5). The youngster has had a great game, but the visitors clearly protecting him from a second booking.
 Jung deflects a Schürrle cross behind for a Dortmund corner. It’s cleared but Schürrle drills it back into the box where it crashes back off a defender before Reus fires wide.
 Martin Harnik holds his head in his hands after slotting the ball past Lindner but half a yard wide from a ball over the top from Hajnal. Golden chance to draw Stuttgart level.
 Stuttgart pushing forwards, but Dortmund have switched to a higher line and are catching the hosts offside. There’s another goal in this game I’m sure.
 Marco Reus nearly finds it as he drills a low shot inches wide from 18 yards. Ulreich well beaten.
 Reus whips a cross into the box that bounces as it hits the six-yard box and sits up for Lewandowski, but Ulreich dives at full-stretch and parries away his turn towards goal. Great reaction save.
 Dortmund make their third change: Mario Götze is on for Perisic (7.2). No changes for the hosts yet.
 A good attacking move wins Dortmund a corner, when Rogne heads behind Beck’s deep cross. Nothing comes of it.
 Christian Gentner is cautioned for a foul on Marco Reus.
 Subotic saves his side from conceding the equaliser when he gets a foot in on Harnik as he pulls the trigger from ten yards out. The corner is cleared, but Boka wins another when Beck deflects his cross behind. Stuttgart have everyone forwards but they waste the set piece.
 Both sides look like they’re trying to hit the other on the break. Götze plays Reus clean through but Tasci chases back and makes a great challenge to take the ball away.
 Schmelzer drives wide from the edge of the box as he comes on the overlap from Schürrle.
 We’re inside the final five and I still wouldn’t rule out a fourth goal. Stuttgart pushing men forwards, while Dortmund pacey on the break. Curious that the hosts haven’t made any changes as they chase the game.
 Heinz Lindner makes a great save to push away an Ibisevic effort, but the flag’s already up.
 The board goes up with two minutes on it.
FULL-TIME: VfB Stuttgart 1-2 Borussia Dortmund (Bundesliga). [PKM]
No clean sheet in six for Dortmund, but they’re now eleven unbeaten in the league and there’s clear daylight between them and the chasing pack ahead of the weekend’s full compliment of Bundesliga fixtures. It was laboured in parts, but when the defence started to push up and catch the hosts offside, they looked far more in control.
Jos Verniers looks like a great purchase, scoring his second in two matches, and probably would have won the man of the match award for his shift in midfield if he wasn’t caught out by fouling his man which eventually led to his withdrawal. You’ll take an away win however it comes, and BVB can travel to Frankfurt on Saturday in high spirits for their last of four consecutive away matches.
- 04.04: Bundesliga #28 Eintracht Frankfurt v. BVB (Commerzbank-Arena)
- 08.04: Bundesliga #29 BVB v. VfL Wolfsburg (Signal Iduna Park)
- 11.04: Bundesliga #30 BVB v. SC Freiburg (Signal Iduna Park)
- 18.04: Bundesliga #31 Hertha Berlin v. BVB (Olympiastadion)
- 25.04: Bundesliga #32 BVB v. FC Augsburg (Signal Iduna Park)