Berlin: Borussia Dortmund eased its relegation fears with a 3-2 win at bottom club Stuttgart in the Bundesliga on Friday.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang broke the deadlock in the 25th minute, scooping the ball home after Japan midfielder Shinji Kagawa helped it on following some good work from Marco Reus. A host of Stuttgart defenders proved ineffective.
Florian Klein equalized with a penalty in the 32nd, awarded after Nuri Sahin was adjudged to have felled Georg Niedermeier close to the goal-line. Sahin was fortunate not to be sent off if deemed to have stopped a clear goal opportunity.
"I don't know how the referee didn't give a red card there," Stuttgart sports director Robin Dutt said. "Sometime these decisions are very strange."
Kawaga's classy back-heel found the on running Ilkay Gundogan to restore Dortmund's lead with a low shot into the corner of the net in the 39th.
Reus pounced on a defensive lapse from Timo Baumgartl to seal the result after rounding the keeper in the 89th. Niedermeier headed Stuttgart's consolation in injury time.
Stuttgart fans consoled the 18-year-old Baumgartl after the game.
Dortmund, which plays Juventus away in the Champions League on Tuesday, climbed to 10th ahead of the weekend's matches with its third successive Bundesliga win.
"At least it's nine points from three games. It's the maximum, you can't ask for more," said Gundogan, who acknowledged that Dortmund wasn't yet fully clicking, before expressing sympathy for Stuttgart.
"We were bottom ourselves a couple of weeks ago. It's not a nice situation. The head is willing but the body doesn't respond," Gundogan said.
The 18-year-old Stuttgart attacking midfielder Timo Werner became the youngest player to play 50 Bundesliga games.