Berlin (dpa) – Borussia Dortmund failed to shine, but got the job done on Friday with a 1-0 victory over Ingolstadt – a win that evened a German Bundesliga record.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang returned to the line-up, after missing Dortmund’s German Cup quarter-final match-up on Tuesday against Sportsfreunde Lotte with an injury, to score the game’s only goal in the 14th minute.
The three points pulled Dortmund to 46 points for third place – three points behind second-placed RB Leipzig.
The victory also extended Dortmund’s home unbeaten streak to 33 matches – matching the mark of 33 matches from Bayern Munich from April 2001 to March 2003.
“It was important for us to get this victory. It’s been an important week – with the German Cup as well – and we struggled a little, but we managed to prevail,” Dortmund’s Gonzalo Castro said.
Ingolstadt have collected just one victory in their last seven games to remain in 17th place with 19 points – seven points from a safe spot.
“We just cannot score goals. We are playing well, but we need to score. But the season still has enough games and we are confident we can stay in the league,” Ingolstadt’s Dario Lezcano said.
Dortmund grabbed the lead after 14 minutes on a quick counter as Shinji Kagawa sent a long ball down the left side to Marcel Schmelzer, who crossed into the middle, where Aubameyang was, ready to convert from 7 metres out.
Ingolstadt did not respond like a team deep in the relegation zone as Mathew Leckie’s header forced Dortmund keeper Roman Buerki into a fine save in the 19th minute.
Dortmund were close to doubling the lead 10 minutes later, but Erik Durm hammered his attempt from 9 metres out over the bar.
The guests threatened again six minutes before the break, but Buerki got his hands on a cross from Markus Suttner and then blocked away Almog Cohen’s immediate rebound attempt.
Ingolstadt failed to convert a golden opportunity just seconds after the restart, as Matthias Ginter’s clearance attempt went off Sokratis and into the run of Leckie, who could not beat Buerki one-on-one, hitting over the bar from 13 metres out.
The guests also had a legitimate argument for a penalty in the 52nd minute as Buerki felled Lezcano in the area, but referee Daniel Siebert refused to blow his whistle.
Dortmund struggled to create much of an attack in the second half, but Ingolstadt could not score either, with Leckie hitting over the bar three minutes into injury time.
Indeed, Ingolstadt’s offensive struggles continued, as they have all season. They sport one of the worst offenses in the league, with 23 goals in 25 matches.