Borussia Dortmund moved back into the top four of the Bundesliga after inflicting Wolfsburg’s second defeat of the season.
Manuel Akanji and Jadon Sancho got the goals as Edin Terzic won his first home league game in charge at Signal Iduna Park.
Both teams had chances in an entertaining affair, but Akanji’s header before Sancho’s strike on the counter attack sealed a 2-0 win for the Black & Yellows.
The big team news at kick off was the return of Erling Haaland. The Norwegian was one of two changes from Dortmund’s last Bundesliga outing at Union Berlin, and having scored ten goals in eight appearances so far this term his presence was certainly felt.
For Wolves, Xaver Schlager, Maximilian Arnold and John Brooks all came into the starting line up after missing out before the festive period due to COVID-19 issues.
It was Oliver Glasner’s side, whose only league defeat previously came at Bayern Munich, who began on the front foot as Josip Brekalo ran onto a through ball before his pull back for Wout Weghorst was deflected into the path of Schlager, but he dragged his effort wide.
The visitors came even closer seven minutes in. Schlager fired the ball across to Yannick Gerhardt inside twelve yards, and his effort deflected off Mats Hummels which diverted it off of the outside of the post.
Dortmund first threatened ten minutes in, as a neat passage of play saw Gio Reyna play in Marco Reus, but Koen Casteels got his body in the way of the playmaker’s effort ten yards out.
A lengthy VAR check then judged Axel Witsel not to have handled Renato Steffen’s header before the first glimpse of Haaland just before the half hour mark. He picked the ball up from midfield and drove forward, but his low effort was straight at Casteels.
Hosts turn screw
Great defending from Paulo Otavio then denied the hosts the breakthrough just before half time when he intercepted Reus’ pass to Haaland, who would have had a tap in after neat interplay before Dortmund spurred a great chance in stoppage time.
Haaland again ran at the visitors back line and saw his fierce strike pushed away by Casteels, but straight to Jadon Sancho but he could only side foot wide of the empty net.
The 20-year old striker continued to pose a threat, and was again denied a goal seven minutes after the break. A great through ball from Raphael Guerreiro played Haaland in behind but only to see his left footed strike turned over the bar by the outstretched keeper.
Weghorst then had two efforts off target at the other end, before the home side got the breakthrough midway through the second half.
Akanji rises highest
Sancho whipped in a corner from the right and Akanji rose highest to meet it and direct his header low past the diving Casteels and into the bottom corner.
Dortmund nearly doubled their lead through a carbon copy of the opening goal, but this time Akanji’s downward header bounced wide of the post having outjumped the Wolfsburg keeper.
Admir Mehmedi and Joao Victor came on as the visitors made a double change after 71 minutes, and the former almost made an instant impact. After winning possession high up the pitch, he drove towards goal before his low strike was saved by the diving Roman Burki.
Haaland’s return to action lasted 81 minutes as he was replaced by Steffan Tigges, who making his league debut almost capped it with a goal moments after coming on. He latched onto a through ball from Guerreiro before steering it past Casteels, but Brooks got back to clear off the line.
Sancho seals points
With the visitors piling forward, Dortmund sealed all three points in the first minute of added time. Emre Can cleared a corner and having started his run in his own half, Sancho bared down on goal and beat Otavio before firing low past Casteels to end a run of 16 league games without a goal and seal three big points for the Black & Yellows.