Veteran Kehl seals Dortmund's win at Freiburg
Borussia Dortmund consolidated second place in the Bundesliga on Sunday with a 1-0 win at relegation-threatened Freiburg with veteran captain Sebastian Kehl netting the winner.
Dortmund came to Freiburg without top-scoring Poland striker Robert Lewandowski, who has a knee strain, but still enjoyed their third straight win.
Jurgen Klopp's side grabbed the winner on 58 minutes when 34-year-old skipper Kehl curled home a 25-metre shot which gave Freiburg goalkeeper Oliver Baumann little chance.
"I told him he's a scumbag," Baumann joked to Sky Sports, while Kehl admitted he was "very, very happy" after his speculative shot dipped under the bar.
The result leaves Freiburg second from bottom while Dortmund are four-points clear in second, but remain 20 points behind run-away leaders Bayern Munich.
"Those were huge points for us," said Dortmund defender Mats Hummels.
"Only second place really counts for us now and that was a big, big step in the right direction."
On Saturday, Pep Guardiola's Bayern warmed up for Tuesday's Champions League last 16, second-leg clash at home to Arsenal with a 6-1 thrashing of Wolfsburg with five goals in 17 second-half minutes.
- Bayern rack up records -
Bayern racked up a record 16th consecutive Bundesliga win, breaking their own league best set in 2005, and have now gone 49 league matches without defeat.
With just 10 games left in the campaign, the European champions are virtually assured of defending their title after a sixth successive win over the 2009 champions.
Victory was the perfect tonic ahead of Tuesday's clash with Bayern holding a 2-0 first leg lead.
Naldo gave Wolfsburg a shock 17th-minute lead before Bayern, heading for a 24th national title, turned on the style.
Having dropped just four points after 24 matches, Guardiola's side have scored a record 72 times since the start of the season with just 11 conceded.
"We weren't as dominant as in recent matches," said Guardiola. "Wolfsburg were very well organised and very aggressive. They caused us a lot of problems in the first half and at the start of the second.
"But at the end of the day it was us who scored the goals we needed."
Wolfsburg's lead lasted just 10 minutes before Xherdan Shaqiri levelled.
Thomas Mueller and former Wolfsburg striker Mario Mandzukic both scored twice in the second half.
Mandzukic took over from Lewandowski as the league's top-scorer with 16 league goals for the season.
France's Franck Ribery added to the scoreline to mark his return to action after a month out through injury.
Bayer Leverkusen are third after a 1-1 draw at Hanover in a game where their goalkeeper Bernd Leno saved a Szabolcs Huszti penalty.
Sami Hyppia's Leverkusen face an uphill task on Wednesday at Paris Saint-Germain where they need to overturn a 4-0 deficit from their Champions League last-16 tie.
Schalke 04 are in fourth place, also with 44 points, after seeing off Hoffenheim 4-0 with Klaas-Jan Huntelaar hitting a hat-trick.
It was a welcome result for Schalke who had been routed 6-1 by Real Madrid and 5-1 at Bayern in their last two outings.
Huntelaar could have had four goals but missed a 31st-minute penalty with a lazy attempt at goal.
In Saturday's late game, Werder Bremen boosted their top-flight survival hopes with a 2-0 win at Nuremberg.
A second successive win for Robin Dutt's team allowed them to climb two places into 11th and eight points off the relegation zone.
Werder midfielder Aaron Hunt is a candidate for a FIFA Fair Play award after persuading referee Manuel Graefe to overturn a second-half decision to award Bremen a penalty.