Borussia Dortmund head coach Lucien Favre said his Bundesliga hopefuls can get even better following their 5-1 demolition of Augsburg.

Last season's runners-up Dortmund recorded their biggest-ever opening-day victory in the club's 52 seasons in the Bundesliga thanks to Saturday's rout of visiting Augsburg.

Florian Niederlechner gave Augsburg a shock first-minute lead, but that advantage was wiped out by Dortmund's Paco Alcacer two minutes later at Signal-Iduna Park.

It was one-way traffic from that point as Dortmund – who surrendered a nine-point lead to Bayern Munich last season – pilled on four unanswered goals in the second half via Jadon Sancho, captain Marco Reus, Alcacer and Julian Brandt.

"We upped the tempo in the second period, which was very good," Favre told Sky. "The result was then clear and deserved. But we also still have a few things to work on.

"We want to get better every day. What's important for me is that the players make progress – both individually and collectively too.

Reus, who scored Dortmund's third goal 12 minutes into the second half, added: "There was a lot of excitement to be playing our first game at home. The stadium was sold out and the fans were immense once again; especially after we went 1-0 down, they were extremely loud.

"We never doubted we could win this match. It obviously wasn't all perfect, we would've liked to have gone 2-1 up before the interval. At the break we said we needed to play with more purpose. That's how we then created our chances.

"The fact we were playing towards the South Stand in the second half gave us the push we needed, as it always does. You get the feeling you can apply even more pressure, that you're more on your game. We're happy we scored four goals in front of the South Stand."

Germany international Nico Schulz made his Bundesliga debut for Dortmund, alongside fellow new signings Mats Hummels and Thorgan Hazard, after arriving from Hoffenheim in the off-season.

"That was a very, very good start," Schulz said. "We went about the match the way we'd set out to. We kept our cool after conceding and we're delighted to get our first three points. We went 2-1 ahead relatively early and we had more space after that. Then it got slightly easier for us.

"The chants by the fans are an honour for me, of course. Obviously, the best way to pay them back will be with my performances."

Bayern Munich head coach Niko Kovac lamented his team's mistakes and wastefulness in their DFL-Supercup defeat to Borussia Dortmund, though he was not dissatisfied with the performance.

Dortmund claimed the DFL-Supercup with a 2-0 win on Saturday, Paco Alcacer and Jadon Sancho preventing Bayern from winning the German season's curtain-raiser for a fourth consecutive year.

Thiago Alcantara gifted possession to Sancho, who set up Alcacer for the 48th-minute opener, before the England international scored a goal of his own with 21 minutes remaining.

Reflecting on the result, which saw Kingsley Coman denied twice, Kovac told reporters: "Of course, we're sad we lost the match today. I think we turned in a decent display, not a very good one, but decent.

"We were dominant, we made two mistakes Dortmund capitalised on. We failed to take our chances, which is why we lost the match.

"We're in the fourth week of pre-season. It was the first match where everyone played 90 minutes, you can't expect more in this situation. I'm not dissatisfied, of course it wasn't an outstanding performance.

"We must take our chances and not play into Dortmund's hands, losing the ball and allowing counters."

Bayern star Joshua Kimmich added: "They won deservedly, even if they weren't better. We saw two very weak teams in the first half. We attacked in the second half and immediately conceded a goal.

"Dortmund presented us with a lot of mistakes. The problem was that we made even more mistakes and that Dortmund made the most of these mistakes. The level wasn't so high because both teams made many mistakes."

Dortmund looked the brighter and more imaginative of the two sides for much of the clash and coach Lucien Favre – whose team finished two points adrift of Bayern in the Bundesliga last season – said: "We absolutely wanted to win this match.

"Bayern were very strong and had a lot of possession; 65 per cent I think, that's a lot. Nonetheless, we created clear goalscoring chances and defended patiently and very compactly. We performed very, very well."

"If things continue like that until the end of the season, I'll take it," Dortmund's Marco Reus added. "It was a good start today. It goes without saying that the match is not a real benchmark for the season. But it was still a spectacular game, we were more effective today and deserved to get the victory too."

Lucien Favre has signed a contract extension tying him to Borussia Dortmund until 2021.

Swiss coach Favre agreed a two-year deal with Dortmund in May 2018 and led them to an unexpected Bundesliga title charge in his first season at the helm.

Having finished just two points behind eventual champions Bayern Munich, the former Borussia Monchengladbach boss has renewed his terms at Signal Iduna Park.

"I'm looking forward to continuing constructive and successful cooperation with the entire BVB team," said Favre in a statement after the new deal was announced on Tuesday.

"I'm delighted to have the opportunity to shape the sporting future of this tradition-steeped club."

Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke added: "He has 100 per cent met the expectations. It is logical that we want to shape the club's future together."

BVB look set to push Bayern all the way again in 2019-20, having already finalised the signings of Julian Brandt, Thorgan Hazard and Nico Schulz.

"Lucien has created clear structures and developed our players," said sporting director Michael Zorc.

Jadon Sancho is guaranteed to stay at Borussia Dortmund for next season, according to CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke.

England winger Sancho has been heavily linked with Manchester United after a standout 2018-19 in the Bundesliga, in which he registered 12 goals and 14 assists in 34 appearances.

Dortmund have always maintained they do not intend to sell the 19-year-old, though, and Watzke has made it clear Sancho is not on the market.

"It can be assumed that Jadon will not play more than 10 years at BVB," he said to Bild. "But we have clear agreements about the present. Jadon is not on the market and he plays next season at Borussia Dortmund, guaranteed."

Dortmund, who missed out on the league title to Bayern Munich by two points, have wasted little time in strengthening their squad.

Deals for Julian Brandt, Thorgan Hazard and Nico Schulz have all been confirmed in the past week, with the majority of the outlay funded by Christian Pulisic's move to Chelsea.

"If you look at the transfer fees, you see that we were not wasteful: we got around 64million euros for Christian Pulisic and invested about 10million euros net in the three new signings," said Watzke.

"We turned one into three. My big compliment goes to our sporting director Michael Zorc."

Next up among Dortmund's priorities is to extend the contracts of head coach Lucien Favre and midfielder Mario Gotze, with Watzke saying: "I feel they both feel very well. We will deal with these two topics in the next few weeks. We want to extend with both.

"With the runner-up spot, he [Favre] achieved more than we expected. He has finally given the team a clear style of play again. Lucien is the right person for Dortmund. In the second and third year, it will become clear whether we can collect titles together."

Champions Bayern have also made significant moves in the market, spending a reported €118m on deals for Lucas Hernandez, Benjamin Pavard and 19-year-old Jann-Fiete Arp.

They are also interested in Manchester City's Leroy Sane, something Watzke says he would be happy to see.

"I think it would be very good if Bayern bring Leroy Sane back as a German national player, because that would increase the appeal of the league. I would be the first to congratulate them," he added.

Lucien Favre praised Borussia Dortmund's season despite being disappointed to miss out on the Bundesliga title on Saturday.

Dortmund recorded a 2-0 win at Borussia Monchengladbach on the final day of the season, but Bayern Munich thrashed Eintracht Frankfurt 5-1 to secure the title by two points.

While his team fell short, head coach Favre said securing 76 points – Dortmund's most since 2015-16 – was a fine achievement.

"It is a disappointment. Sure, we did not give up hope," he told a news conference.

"At one stage it was 1-1 between Bayern and Eintracht Frankfurt, then Bayern immediately scored to make it 2-1. We still believed in it, but most of all we focused on our game, on our task. We did not look much at the other teams' results.

"In the end it is clear that we are a little disappointed by the result of the championship, but we won our game. There was little missing to the title, but we are still very happy with our season.

"Nobody would have thought that we would get 76 points."

Favre felt defensive lapses proved costly for Dortmund, who conceded 44 league goals – 12 more than Bayern – during the campaign.

"It was tight this season. We haven't missed much, but overall you can say that we conceded unnecessary goals," he said.

"But we must not forget that we had good luck in the first half of the season. We turned around some games at the very end. That's why I always said that we still have much to do.

"Let's see what happens until the next season starts, but of course we always want to have another good season like this, 76 points is not easy to reach, that is clear."

Bayern Munich have won the Bundesliga for the seventh year in a row, despite Borussia Dortmund pushing them harder than in recent seasons.

Lucien Favre's side have made great progress this term with a thrilling young side including stars such as Jadon Sancho, yet they may rue a missed opportunity in the 2018-19 season.

Dortmund made a flying start and led Bayern by seven points earlier in the campaign, only for the defending champions to come roaring back under Niko Kovac, capitalising on BVB's patchy post-Christmas form and sealing the title with Saturday's 5-1 hammering of Eintracht Frankfurt.

Omnisport looks back at nine key games that ensured the championship shield will be residing in Bavaria once again.

DORTMUND 3-2 BAYERN, 10/11/18

A superb start to the season for Favre's men was improved even further when Bayern were beaten 3-2 in the first Klassiker of the season at Signal Iduna Park. Robert Lewandowski twice gave Bayern the lead against his old side, but Dortmund captain Marco Reus equalised on both occasions. Paco Alcacer then came up with a memorable winner to ensure BVB could dream of the title.


A third participant in the title race was arguably Werder, who played a key part in a number of results that would go on to decide the title. Bayern entered December on a run of three Bundesliga games without a win and pressure was building on Kovac. He needed a win and he got one in Bremen thanks to a Serge Gnabry double either side of Yuya Osako's goal.


Probably the result that proved the most damaging to Dortmund's previously sky-high belief; surrendering a three-goal lead at home to Hoffenheim was a hugely painful result to take. They were 3-0 up with 15 minutes to go but somehow failed to win the game, with Ishak Belfodil scoring twice in an incredible comeback from the visitors. This setback was the middle result of three consecutive league draws for Dortmund.

AUGSBURG 2-3 BAYERN, 15/2/19

Bayern had found their groove but Augsburg were difficult opponents, having drawn at Allianz Arena earlier in the campaign. A Friday night clash proved a classic in February as Bayern fell behind in the first minute due to Leon Goretzka's own goal. Kingsley Coman equalised twice - either side of a superb strike from Ji Dong-won - and the France forward set up David Alaba for a priceless winner early in the second half.


A run of three straight wins set Dortmund up for a virtual winner-takes-all Klassiker meeting in Munich. However, a first-half Bayern blitz essentially ended BVB's hopes of usurping the defending champions. Lewandowski hit Bayern's second and fifth goals after former BVB defender Mats Hummels had opened the scoring. That two of their old heroes contributed heavily to the humiliation would have especially hurt Dortmund supporters.


By this stage of the season, any slip-up from Bayern could have opened the door for Dortmund to take full advantage. However, they claimed another narrow win over Werder at the Allianz Arena, albeit there was a huge slice of luck involved. Niklas Sule's strike broke the deadlock in the 75th minute, his effort taking a substantial deflection to beat Jiri Pavlenka, with Milos Veljkovic having been dismissed for the visitors.


Successive wins after the Klassiker ensured Dortmund were still on Bayern's tail, but they imploded in stunning fashion at the hands of rivals Schalke in the Revierderby. Dortmund led through Mario Gotze but the game turned when Daniel Caligiuri converted an 18th-minute penalty harshly awarded after a VAR check on Julian Weigl's handball.

Salif Sane converted Caligiuri's right-wing corner to put Schalke ahead and Dortmund were in disarray after Reus saw red for hacking down Suat Serdar - Caligiuri scoring the resulting free-kick. Marius Wolf was also sent off for a bad foul on Serdar and while Axel Witsel reduced the deficit for the nine men, Breel Embolo settled matters.


Yes, Werder again. Dortmund could not afford any more mistakes and after Christian Pulisic and Alcacer struck in the first half, they seemed set to bounce back from their derby defeat. It was not to be, though, as Dortmund gave up yet another lead. Roman Burki's awful error allowed Kevin Mohwald to grab one back and it was veteran forward Claudio Pizarro who effectively handed old club Bayern the title with his leveller. He later revealed to Omnisport that he received many messages of thanks from Bayern players and fans.


Die Roten went into the final game of the season just needing to match Dortmund's result, and they accomplished that emphatically. Although a fortuitous Sebastien Haller equaliser just after half-time made things interesting, Bayern blew their visitors away. Alaba and Renato Sanches put them in control, before Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben - playing their final league games for the club - fittingly wrapped up a big win and made absolutely sure of a seventh successive title.

Borussia Dortmund fell frustratingly short of a sixth Bundesliga title despite winning 2-0 at Borussia Monchengladbach on the final day of the season.

Bayern Munich's resounding 5-1 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt sent the silverware to Bavaria and left Lucien Favre's men to count the cost of a poor second half to a once promising campaign.

The nine-point lead Dortmund held in January evaporated the following month and an improvement on last term's fourth-place finish will serve as hollow consolation.

But, having collapsed to a damaging 4-2 defeat to rivals Schalke in April, the youthful runners-up can take some pride in keeping Bayern honest on Saturday.

Jadon Sancho and Marco Reus scored either side of half-time to keep the margin to two points and end Gladbach's hopes of edging Bayer Leverkusen in the battle for fourth.

Ibrahima Traore rattled the crossbar with a fine curling attempt for the hosts in the early exchanges before England winger Sancho made the breakthrough in controversial circumstances.

The teenager coolly volleyed home towards the end of the first half and VAR rubber stamped the goal despite the ball appearing to have run out of play prior to Reus' cross.

Sancho was also involved in the second as he and Mario Gotze combined to move the ball right to Christian Pulisic, who provided his captain with a straightforward tap-in.

Gladbach defender Nico Elvedi almost diverted a third into his own net moments later but the damage was done for both clubs as they failed to achieve their respective ambitions.

Lucien Favre feels the high stakes for both of Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich's final-day opponents will be a factor in a Bundesliga title race going down to the wire.

Stumbles for both champions Bayern and Favre's Dortmund have made a battle between two flawed teams utterly compelling, although Niko Kovac's men remain favourites heading into Saturday's concluding round of fixtures.

Bayern boast a two-point advantage over their rivals as they target a seventh consecutive Bundesliga crown – a title that would already be secure had they not been held to a 0-0 draw by RB Leipzig last weekend.

Third-place Leipzig are already assured of a Champions League spot next term but two of the teams still in the running for fourth place – Borussia Monchengladbach and Eintracht Frankfurt – are Dortmund and Bayern's respective weekend foes.

"The title race is open until the end. Many games and many teams are still fighting for the Champions League and Europa League," said Favre at a pre-match news conference ahead of BVB's trip to face Gladbach, a club he coached between 2011 and 2015.

"Also, some are fighting for the title. It is very interesting this season and it will be exciting in Gladbach."

In an intriguing parallel within the prospective last-day drama, Kovac is facing an Eintracht side he led to DFB-Pokal glory against Bayern a year ago.

"We have to be fully concentrated on our game and hope that good things happen on the other pitch," Favre said. "The game has to be our focus and we have to win it. Period.

"Everything is possible. How high are the chances? It's hard to say and I don't really want to talk about it.

"We have to win in Gladbach. As you said, Gladbach also want to win. We will have to play on a high level and win in the end."

Dortmund will be boosted by the return of captain Marco Reus from suspension, although Marius Wolf remains banned after the pair were sent off in the derby defeat to Schalke.

Goalkeeper Roman Burki is expected to play after overcoming a thigh problem but Favre said defender Abdou Diallo is a likely absentee as he continues to struggle with the muscular complaint that forced him to miss the 3-2 win over Fortuna Dusseldorf last time out.

An upbeat Lucien Favre believes "everything is possible again" for Borussia Dortmund less than a week after declaring the Bundesliga title race was over.

Dortmund's implosion in last weekend's 4-2 defeat to rivals Schalke appeared to hand Bayern Munich a huge boost at the top of the table, but the champions failed to take advantage as they were held to a surprise 1-1 draw by relegation-threatened Nurnberg the following day.

The gap between first and second now stands at two points and the sudden change in fortune has given Favre and his players renewed hope of erasing the deficit.

Both sides are back in action on Saturday as Dortmund head to mid-table Werder Bremen, while Bayern host bottom-placed Hannover.

"Everybody thought that it was over. Not just me, everyone did," Favre said in his pre-match news conference.

"It wasn't planned that Bayern would struggle against Nurnberg.

"The players are not stupid. They look at the table and know everything's possible again, but we need to focus on the game against Bremen and need to win it.

"There's no other way."

Favre will have to do without Marco Reus for the matches against Werder and Fortuna Dusseldorf as his captain serves a two-game suspension for the red card he received in the Revierderby.

Marius Wolf was handed a three-game ban after being sent off in the same game and could be replaced at right-back by the experienced Lukasz Piszczek, who is on the cusp of returning from injury.

"It doesn't do much good to talk about it. Fortunately, he will be available for the last Bundesliga match [against Borussia Monchengladbach]," Favre said of Reus on Friday.

"[Piszczek] has been training all week and will do that today, so we have to see if that will be enough."

Former Borussia Dortmund defender Marc Bartra has condemned a banner held by Schalke supporters during Saturday's Revierderby that apparently showed support for the bomb attack on Dortmund's team bus two years ago. 

Schalke won 4-2 at Signal Iduna Park on Saturday, as Dortmund had captain Marco Reus and defender Marius Wolf sent off for second-half lunges on Suat Serdar and saw their Bundesliga title hopes fade significantly.

But a famous victory inspired by two Daniel Caligiuri goals was marred by the appearance of a banner among the travelling supporters that read "Still a bombing [good] idea, freedom for Sergej W". 

Sergej W was the identifying name publicly given to the man convicted of 28 counts of attempted murder and sentenced to 14 years in prison after targeting Dortmund's squad with three explosions ahead of their April 2017 Champions League quarter-final match against Monaco. 

Retweeting a post reporting the Schalke banner, Real Betis centre-back Bartra – who was hospitalised by the attack and underwent surgery on a fractured wrist – strongly condemned those responsible.

"Intolerable, unacceptable and sad," he tweeted. 

"A football rivalry is one thing [but] it is another to demand the freedom of someone who played with the lives of 28 people." 

Schalke supporters could also face scrutiny after Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho appeared to be struck by an object thrown from the away end when celebrating Mario Gotze's 14th minute opener. 

The England international was off the field receiving treatment during the incident that led to Schalke's 18th-minute penalty – converted by Caligiuri after a VAR handball review controversially went against Julian Weigl. 

"When the penalty was awarded, Sancho received treatment on the sideline after being hit by a lighter from the crowd," Dortmund head coach Lucien Favre told Sky. 

"It really wasn't a good performance from the referee. Too much has happened today." 

Dortmund fans similarly faced criticism for their conduct after a large banner containing a homophobic slur was unveiled on the Yellow Wall terrace. 

Borussia Dortmund head coach Lucien Favre believes the interpretation of football's handball rule is becoming "ridiculous" after his team's devastating 4-2 Revierderby defeat to Schalke turned on a penalty awarded against Julian Weigl. 

Mario Gotze headed Dortmund into an early lead but Daniel Caligiuri levelled from an 18th-minute penalty, with Weigl deemed guilty via a VAR review when a shot was blasted at him from close quarters. 

Dortmund unravelled horribly thereafter, with Salif Sane putting Schalke ahead and Caligiuri netting a stunning 62nd-minute free-kick either side of Marco Reus and Marius Wolf being red carded for lunging tackles on Suat Serdar. 

"I've never experienced something like this, it's difficult to deal with," Favre told Sky, after Breel Embolo completed the scoring to render Axel Witsel's 85th-minuite goal for nine-man Dortmund a greater irrelevance. 

"The penalty shows how ridiculous football has become. This handball rule, it is the biggest scandal in football that nobody knows anything about it. It's a disgrace." 

The former Nice boss picked up the theme at his post-match news conference. 

"It's a joke," he said. "Not just today's penalty, but in general. Should the players cut off their arms and run without them?" 

Schalke boss Huub Stevens looked perplexed on the sideline when the penalty was awarded and offered sympathy to his opposite number. 

"I think it's very disgusting that a penalty like this has been given," he said.

"I told Lucien Favre that I am not happy with it as well. But my team received these kind of decisions against us in the weeks before." 

Favre chose not to complain in a similar manner about the red cards awarded to his captain Reus and Wolf, but again suggested he did not agree with referee Felix Zwayer's interpretations. 

"We have to avoid these situations. But we need to admit that the referee didn't have his best day," he said.

Schalke midfielder Omar Mascarell stated Dortmund lost their composure and felt Reus and Wolf could have no complaints. 

"When the result is not what you want, sometimes you get nervous and lose yourself," he said. 

"For me it was two red cards." 

Victory for Bayern Munich over second-bottom Nurnberg on Sunday will increase the champions' lead over Dortmund to four points with three matches to play and Favre felt it was time to concede the title. 

"Yes, of course, the title race is done," he added. "It's hard to stomach but it is what it is."

Borussia Dortmund head coach Lucien Favre conceded his side were too focused on the Bundesliga title following their demoralising 5-0 Der Klassiker rout to rivals Bayern Munich.

Bayern scored four first-half goals as they humiliated Dortmund 5-0 on Saturday to go a point clear in the race for the Bundesliga trophy.

Dortmund were two points clear prior to kick-off at Allianz Arena, however, Favre's team were put to the sword in the 100th league edition of Der Klassiker – Robert Lewandowski's brace inspiring Bayern.

Afterwards, Favre told reporters: "The 5-0 is difficult to understand but it is well-deserved. Congratulations to my colleague.

"You clearly have to say that this was a lesson for us. We had the chance to score the first goal which could have changed the game.

"Bayern kept dominating the game with more speed and better movements. They played on a higher level. It was a lesson and after 4-0 it's tough to come back in the second half."

"We have to focus on the next game," Favre added. "Today we were probably too concentrated and we were thinking too much about the title.

"We are still facing six difficult games, it was always tight until now, also the last game against Wolfsburg or in Berlin. We have to focus on the next game, we cannot change it now.

"We have to give our best but only think about the next game. And don't think about constellations."

Robert Lewandowski scored his 200th and 201st Bundesliga goals as Bayern Munich roared back to the top of the Bundesliga with a 5-0 mauling of Borussia Dortmund.

Lucien Favre's side arrived at Allianz Arena with a two-point lead at the top of the table but the momentum behind their title bid was ripped away in a devastating first half in the 100th league edition of Der Klassiker.

Mats Hummels made the first incision with a commanding header and Lewandowski, a fellow former Dortmund star, reached his scoring milestone with a superb solo effort seven minutes later.

Javi Martinez and Serge Gnabry assured Bayern's ascendancy to top spot by adding two more in almost as many minutes late in the opening period and Poland international Lewandowski fittingly completed the rout in the 89th minute as the champions took a big step towards retaining their crown.


Borussia Dortmund coach Lucien Favre says the outcome of Saturday's clash with Bayern Munich will not decide which club wins the Bundesliga title.

Dortmund travel to Munich with a two-point advantage over their title rivals, Bayern having dropped points against Freiburg last time out.

With only six games to play after this weekend's match at the Allianz Arena, a win would be a huge boost for either side.

However, Favre expects a few more twists and turns before the end of the campaign.

"This game is very special: Bayern v Dortmund," he told a media conference. "The table is close, seven games remain, and two great teams.

"If we win, nothing is decided, if we draw, nothing is decided, if we lose nothing is is completely open!"

Bayern come into the game after a less-than impressive 5-4 victory over second-tier Heidenheim in the DFB-Pokal, and Favre says he has spotted some areas Dortmund can exploit.

"Like all teams, they do have some weaknesses," he added. "Every team has that, even the best teams in the world.

"But [they do not have] too many, not many. And they have a lot of strengths of course, we know that.

"We have to concentrate on a lot of things."

Sporting director Michael Zorc is confident BVB can go to Munich and get a result, particularly given they came from 2-1 down to win 3-2 in the first meeting of the season.

"We showed that in the first match this season that we are able to win against them and can come back after a deficit," he said. 

"We had a look at the statistics since 2011 and we've won five times in Munich, including DFB-Pokal. 

"But the players from today don't really care about the past years. We do need a top performance and courage to survive there, that's for sure. So we need a top performance and one that is better than the one we showed last week."

Favre will make a late decision on the fitness of Paco Alcacer prior to the clash, with Lukasz Piszczek also a doubt.

"It's difficult to determine now, but we think there is a chance he [Alcacer] will play," added the coach. "We will know more tomorrow.

"With Piszczek, we will decide whether he joins the squad after tomorrow's training session.

"Abdou Diallo ran today as well, his condition will be decided tomorrow too."

Paco Alcacer scored twice in stoppage time as Borussia Dortmund moved two points clear of Bayern Munich at the Bundesliga summit with a dramatic 2-0 home win over Wolfsburg, one week before they meet their title rivals in Der Klassiker.

Bayern drew 1-1 away to Freiburg, and it looked like Dortmund would also only pick up a point until Alcacer netted a powerful free-kick and finished off a swift counter-attack in a sensational climax.

Marco Reus, Dortmund's influential captain and the matchwinner in November's reverse fixture, missed Saturday's match as his partner was due to give birth, while Christian Pulisic was out injured.

Without Reus, Lucien Favre's men struggled for attacking fluidity before Alcacer's late intervention against Wolfsburg, who drop to eighth after their defeat, despite faring much better than they did in their last away game, a 6-0 loss to Bayern.

Alcacer fired over from a good early opportunity created by Mario Gotze, but the best moment of the first half saw Roman Burki produce a superb reaction save to tip Wout Weghorst's curling shot wide.

Dortmund failed to trouble Wolfsburg keeper Koen Casteels before the break, with Dan-Axel Zagadou missing a headed opportunity as a pigeon that defiantly remained around the pitch provided more entertainment for the Signal Iduna Park crowd.

Jadon Sancho forced a save from Casteels just after the hour mark, while the lively Raphael Guerreiro was also denied as Dortmund lost Abdou Diallo and Achraf Hakimi to injury on what was becoming a frustrating afternoon.

But Dortmund will take a title-race lead to the Allianz Arena in seven days' time after Alcacer blasted a free-kick past the weak hands of Casteels from 20 yards, before being set up by Sancho to finish off a late break four minutes into added time.

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