The league leaders avoided dropping points for the second game in a row, and maintained their three point gap over Bayern Munich at the Bundesliga summitBorussia Dortmund warmed up for its title clash with Bayern Munich on Wednesday with a 3-1 win over Wolfsburg at the Volkswagen arena in Saturday's Bundesliga encounter, a result that keeps them three points clear at the top of the league.
Robert Lewandowski opened the scoring with a tap-in after 22 minutes, before Ilkay Gundogan doubled its advantage minutes into the second-half with a cool finish in traffic.
Wolfsburg made a game of it with half an hour to go through Mario Mandzukic's header, but a late red card to Alexander Madlung ended the visitors' endeavor before Lewandowski sealed the points by finishing off a late counter attack.
After twice squandering the lead during their 4-4 draw against Stuttgart last weekend that saw Bayern Munich cut their lead at the top of the table to three points, Dortmund knew that there was no room for error, especially with the Bavarians to come at home in four days’ time.
The first opportunity of the match fell the visitors’ way after nine minutes, Shinji Kagawa threading in Lewandowski, who fired wide with only the keeper to beat.
Neither side was especially quick to get into their stride, with BVB struggling to find its way past a packed midfield and Wolfsburg only showing glimpses of promise on the counterattack.
But with 21 minutes gone, Dortmund found itself a goal to the good. Ivan Perisic did the hard work, sprinting clear of Christian Trasch down the left before fizzing across the face of goal for Lewandowski, who stretched to poke home.
Wolfsburg nearly found itself level almost immediately after the restart. Marcel Schafer did well to beat Lukasz Piszczek out wide and square to Mario Mandzukic, only for Roman Weidenfeller to save smartly with his legs, with Patrick Helmes putting the rebound the wrong side of the post.
However, the match reverted to type soon after, with Dortmund having the better of things without really creating any clear cut chances in front of the home side’s goal.
Gundogan went closest just before halftime, after a great team move picked him out on the edge of the area for a shot which was well saved by Diego Benaglio at the bottom corner.
Wolfsburg found itself an opening straight out of the interval with half time substitute Vieirinha picking out Mandzukic unmarked at the top of the box, only for the Croatian to scuff his shot harmlessly into the arms of Weidenfeller.
The hosts were made to pay for their profligacy within moments, as Jakub ‘Kuba’ Blaszczykowski held off the challenge of Felipe inside the area before teeing up Gundogan, who kept his head to put the ball past Benaglio to give BVB a 2-0 lead.
Felix Magath’s men attempted to hit back straight away, Vieirinha testing Weidenfeller with a powerful low drive that the BVB keeper was forced to punch clear.
Dortmund almost grabbed a third just before the hour mark, after Perisic’s ball found Kuba, who created an inch of space before rattling the crossbar with a vicious effort.
Wolfsburg took advantage of its good fortune, and pulled a goal back a few minutes after. Ashkan Dejagah was the architect, slipping in behind Marcel Schmelzer out wide before sending in a great cross for Mandzukic to head home.
With just over a quarter of an hour to go, Kagawa was played in by a perfectly weighted ball from Gundogan, but the Japanese sent his finish inches wide of the post.
Wolfsburg grew in confidence as the game entered its closing stages, with gaps beginning to appear around the Dortmund backline. Dejagah sent yet another inviting ball in from out wide, but Mandzukic completely miscued and failed to make contact.
The home sides’ hoped seemed to be ended once and for all with five minutes to go, as Madlung was shown his second yellow card for leading with his elbow on Piszczek on a challenge for a header.
However, they fashioned themselves a late chance to grab an equalizer, but Petr Jiracek was denied by a crucial block from Weidenfeller as time winded down.
With its resources committed in attack, Wolfsburg was caught out in injury time as Moritz Leitner played in Lewandowski on the break, who finished cooly past Beaglio to put any lingering nerves to rest.
Dortmund finished with the win to maintain their three point lead at the top of the table. It now awaits the visit of Bayern Munich at Signal Iduna Park on Wednesday, in a match that may well have a big say in the destination of the title.Follow GOAL.COM USA on