Berlin, Feb 4: Borussia Dortmund piled the pressure on its Bundesliga title rivals Friday with a hard-fought 2-0 win at Nuremberg to move three points clear before the rest of the weekend's games.
Dortmund captain Sebastian Kehl fired the defending champion ahead in the 48th minute and Lucas Barrios sealed the win in the 82nd, just 10 minutes after coming on as a substitute.
“It really wasn't easy today, and that's what makes the win so special,” said Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp.
Dortmund shrugged off a wind chill of minus 17 degrees Celsius (1.4 Fahrenheit) to stretch its unbeaten run to 14 games.
However, Dortmund winger Kevin Grosskreutz played down talk of a title defense.
“Bayern (Munich) said they've more quality,” Grosskreutz said.
“There's always this question. ‘Who'll be champions? Who'll be champions?' We've just won a game.”
Bayern can reclaim the lead on goal difference with a win at Hamburger SV on Saturday, when Schalke can also move level on 43 points by beating Mainz at home.
The home side forced two good saves from Roman Weidenfeller early on, before Nuremberg ‘keeper Raphael Schaefer twice denied Robert Lewandowski and then Shinji Kagawa on the line.
The visitors finally got the breakthrough after the interval when Moritz Leitner split the Nuremberg defense with a fantastic through ball and Lukasz Piszczek pulled it back for Kehl to slot into the bottom left corner.
Barrios then scored his first goal of an injury-plagued season when he pounced on Schaefer's save from Kagawa to secure the win.
“For me it's super. It was a great day,” the Paraguay striker said.
Klopp's only concern now is the fitness of Sven Bender.
The influential midfielder was forced off in the 22nd minute due to suspected ligament damage to his left ankle.