The German champions avoided dropping points for the second game in a row, and maintained their three-point lead over Bayern Munich at the Bundesliga summitBorussia Dortmund warmed up for their 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 their 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 home side's hope of a comeback before Lewandowski sealed the points by finishing off a late counterattack.
After twice squandering the lead during their 4-4 draw against Stuttgart last weekend, 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 to the visitors after nine minutes, with 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 their way past a packed midfield and Wolfsburg only showing glimpses of promise on the counter.
But with 21 minutes gone, Dortmund found themselves 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 themselves 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 half-time, 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 themselves 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 their good fortune, and pulled a goal back a few minutes later. 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 back line. Dejagah sent yet another inviting ball in from out wide, but Mandzukic completely miscued and failed to make contact.
The home side then suffered a big blow 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 equaliser, but Petr Jiracek was denied by a crucial block from Weidenfeller as time winded down.
With their resources committed in attack, Wolfsburg were caught out in injury time as Moritz Leitner played in Lewandowski on the break, who finished coolly past Benaglio to put any lingering nerves to rest.
Dortmund finished with the win to maintain their three-point lead at the top of the table. They now await 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.