Klopp joy at hard-fought victory
Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp was proud of this players after they defeated Bayer Leverkusen following a thrilling match at BayArena.
Dortmund edged past Leverkusen 3-2 during in a game that was named Game Of The Season by many and dubbed "The great show of the Bayern chasers" by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
The visitors had taken the early lead after three minutes as Marco Reus finished following a through ball from Poland international Robert Lewandowski. Jakub Błaszczykowski doubled the score from the spot only nine minutes into the match as Dortmund looked certain winners.
But Leverkusen upped the pressure, with Sebastian Boenisch dominating the left side before half-time. After the interval Leverkusen took command of the game and Stefan Reinartz's brace levelled the match within four minutes.
"It was very difficult today," Dortmund goalkeeper Mitchell Langerak said. "We did a good job in the first half, but especially in the second half we were put under a lot of pressure. After the break Leverkusen played like a team possessed, and even if we were expecting it, we were still a bit surprised."
But moments after the leveller Wollscheid played a sloppy back pass, which was picked up by Mario Gotze and finished off by Robert Lewandowski. "I can't explain what happened," Wollscheid said of his mistake. "This should not happen. I have cut the team out of their rewards."
A few minutes later, Bayer 'keeper Bernd Leno saved a Kuba penalty and Leverkusen pushed for the equaliser. But, despite managing a total of 27 shots, Leverkusen could not prevent their first home defeat of the season.
"We weren't far off the mark today and we'll learn our lessons from this game," Leverkusen boss Sascha Lewandowski said.
Dortmund manager Klopp, meanwhile, spoke highly of the opponent, saying: "Not many teams will come here and win as Leverkusen are incredibly strong."
Borussia Dortmund now have overtaken Leverkusen, and with 39 points have become the best of the rest in Bundesliga, trailing Bayern by 12 points.
"We know that we were a bit fortunate to win the game," Dortmund defender Mats Hummels said. "It was still very important that we played with a lot of passion today. We are happy that we were rewarded for our hard work."
On Monday, Dortmund announced that the hard work forced Mario Gotze, Marcel Schmelzer and Marco Reus to pull out from the national team this week with minor injuries.