Borussia Dortmund extended their lead at the top of the Bundesliga to seven points – for 24 hours at least – with a 2-0 defeat of Freiburg at Signal Iduna Park.
Lucien Favre’s men had scored 35 goals in their previous 12 league games but struggled to make inroads against a resolute Freiburg defence until goals in the closing stages of each half.
Marco Reus converted a penalty after Jadon Sancho had been fouled, before in-form Paco Alcacer struck as a substitute again to seal the victory. Second-placed Borussia Monchengladbach visit RB Leipzig on Sunday.
Dortmund bossed the opening half hour without making the breakthrough – Mario Gotze failing to steer home Sancho’s 24th-minute cross from the right while both Reus and Gotze could not smuggle the ball over the line when Jacob Bruun Larsen escaped down the left four minutes later.
Sancho was proving a constant menace to the Freiburg defence and some more fancy footwork drew a foul from Dominique Heintz. Captain Reus took responsibility and made no mistake, slotting down the middle five minutes before the break.
Saisontore für @woodyinho: #BVBSCF – pic.twitter.com/Arg46jxExT
— Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) December 1, 2018
Having offered little as an attacking force, Freiburg almost drew level three minutes before the break with Jerome Gondorf’s stunning 30-yard free-kick beating Roman Burki but not the bar, the ball bouncing down before being cleared.
Gondorf was less impressive at the other end at the start of the second period, dallying on the ball and allowing Reus to pinch it off his toe only to see his shot blocked by goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow.
Dortmund continued to dominate possession but clear-cut chances were few and far between.
Lukasz Piszczek fired a 77th-minute effort against the bar but Dortmund had a let off nine minutes from time when Yoric Ravet had a strong penalty claim turned down after going down under a challenge from Achraf Hakimi.
The win was not safe until the first minute of stoppage time, when Sancho and Piszczek combined to set up super-sub Alcacer to slot in his 10th league goal in eight appearances.
10 – @paco93alcacer has scored his 10th goal in his 8th @Bundesliga_EN match (like Gert Dörfel 1963). No player has scored more goals in his first 8 BL-matches. Matador. #BVBSCF @BlackYellow pic.twitter.com/7HtUoHQjfR
— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) December 1, 2018