Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel praised Mario Gotze after he made his BVB comeback in the 1-0 defeat at RB Leipzig.
Germany international Gotze, 24, made his first competitive appearance for Dortmund since returning from Bayern Munich, starting after injury ruled out Shinji Kagawa.
Last week, he was heavily criticised for his performance in Germany's 3-0 win in Norway -- but on Saturday he was one of the few Dortmund players in form at Leipzig's Zentralstadion.
He was substituted in the 71st minute and Tuchel explained: "We wanted to introduce new players, and changed the formation a bit."
Speaking in the mixed zone after the game, Gotze said it had been a "bitter" defeat and added: "Our goal was three points, and we did not achieve that."
Dortmund return to Champions League action at Legia Warsaw on Wednesday when they could be without Germany midfielder Julian Weigl, who suffered a fracture of the nasal bone, the club told kicker.
Winger Marco Reus, meanwhile, has yet to resume team training following the adductor injury that ruled him out of the 2016 European Championships.
On Monday, local paper Ruhr Nachrichten reported that Reus could even be sidelined for the rest of the year.
"It's a matter of weeks," sporting director Michael Zorc told kicker. "He will get all the time he needs."