Berlin: Jadon Sancho scored as Borussia Dortmund beat a spirited Bayer Leverkusen 3-2 at Signal Iduna Park on Sunday to restore their three-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga table.
The home side endured a nervous end to the game but held out for a huge win after three straight league draws.
"It's a really good feeling to be back in top spot," said Dortmund defender Manuel Akanji.
"It wasn't an easy game, but we did it well. It shows that we've got our self-confidence back."
Leverkusen started the game on fire, highlighting why they have been the Bundesliga's form team since the winter break.
A goal for the visitors looked inevitable until Dortmund's French defender Dan-Axel Zagadou opened the scoring against the run of play in the 30th minute.
A shell-shocked Bayer managed to hit back just seven minutes later, with Kevin Volland shooting through the legs of Dortmund midfielder Axel Witsel with a low shot from the edge of the penalty box.
Their respite was minimal however, with Dortmund retaking the lead just over a minute later through teenage sensation Sancho. The England international met a lofted cross from Abdou Diallo with a well-struck volley.
The goal woke Dortmund – and their home crowd – from their slumber, with the league leaders seemingly finding the form that had seen them open up a six-point lead at the top going into the winter break.
They peppered the Leverkusen goal before and after the break, with Mario Goetze making the most of a Leverkusen defensive error on the hour mark to put the home side 3-1 ahead with his fourth goal of the campaign.
Dortmund continued to attack but failed to tighten up at the back, learning little from their recent 3-3 draws against Hoffenheim and Werder Bremen.
Leverkusen hit back as Jonathan Tah headed home a Julian Brandt free-kick in the 75th minute, setting up a tense final stanza.
The home side held firm to grab the three points but serious defensive questions remain for coach Lucien Favre's side, who have now conceded 11 goals in their past five games in all competitions.
Earlier in the day, Eintracht Frankfurt's attack was on song as the visitors ran out 3-0 victors over a struggling Hanover 96 at the HDI Arena.
Luka Jovic scored his 15th goal of the season while Ante Rebic added his eighth of the campaign to lift Frankfurt up to sixth on the table. Frankfurt now sit in the Europa League places and are well in the hunt for a Champions League berth.
Serbian Jovic is now two goals clear of Bayern's Robert Lewandowski and Dortmund's Marco Reus at the top of the goalscoring charts.
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Updated Date: Feb 25, 2019 11:20:49 IST