By 90Min
April 08, 2018

Borussia Dortmund secured a vital 3-0 win over VfB Stuttgart on Sunday in a result that has closed the gap between them and second-placed Schalke 04 to just one point.

Peter Stöger demanded that his side respond well following their 6-0 humiliation in Der Klassiker last week and despite a below-par performance in the first half, goals from Christian Pulisic, Michy Batshuayi and Maximilian Philipp ensured all three points stayed at the Westfalenstadion this weekend.

The result has also proved to be Stuttgart's first loss under new manager Tayfun Korkut, who has taken the Swabians from battling relegation to just outside the Europa League places in his first eight games in charge of the club.

Christof Koepsel/GettyImages

The visitors started the game brightly and weren't overawed by the occasion. Stuttgart captain Christian Gentner found plenty of space in between the lines early on, while the partnership of Mario Gómez and Daniel Ginczek appeared to be causing Dortmund some problems.

Dortmund's woeful defensive organisation should have been made to pay before the half-hour mark but former Bayern Munich striker Gómez couldn't connect with a header from close range.

Peter Stöger's side didn't register their first notable effort until five minutes later but Christian Pulisic could only send his shot harmlessly high and wide.

The USMNT winger then somehow gave Borussia Dortmund the lead from an impossible angle but he needed a huge slice of luck to find the back of the net. Facing away from goal, Pulisic's miss-hit cross - which was meant to find the head of Michy Batshuayi - floated over Ron-Robert Zieler and went in off the post.

The goal appeared to inject some confidence into Dortmund and Marco Reus could have doubled their lead with the last chance of the half but his thunderous volley went wide of the far post.

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The hosts came out the blocks quickly in the second half and Dortmund were able to get on the scoresheet after just two minutes. 

Loanee striker Michy Batshuayi combined well with Nuri Şahin to open up some space before the Belgium international placed a left-footed effort into the bottom corner of the goal. A third goal soon went in for Dortmund thanks to the quick reactions of summer signing and fan favourite forward, Maximilian Philipp. 

The 24-year-old saw his first effort well saved by Zieler but the follow-up shot, which got a big deflection off Holger Badstuber, was unstoppable for the former Leicester City goalkeeper.

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Philipp, Pulisic and Batshuayi could have increased Dortmund's lead even further as the game began to come to a close but the home side were guilty of overplaying with their late chances. 

Fans were able to see one of their young wingers, Jacob Bruun Larsen, make a positive cameo appearance at the Westfalenstadion for the first time in 2018 following the Dane's move to Stuttgart on a short-term loan in January.

The game was all wrapped up for Dortmund but they did suffer a late scare when only the underside of the crossbar stopped Mario Gómez from getting on the scoresheet with an audacious long-range shot.

That allowed Peter Stöger to rotate his squad ahead of their must-win Revierderby next week, with the likes of Jadon Sancho, Jeremy Toljan and even Sergio Gómez getting a rare appearance in the closing stages of the match.

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