Borussia Dortmund cruised past hosts Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 on Sunday for their third win in three league matches since the Bundesliga resumed after the winter break, climbing to within three points of the top spot.
Dortmund's comfortable victory snapped Leverkusen's five-game winning run in the Bundesliga, dropping them to ninth place.
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Germany international Karim Adeyemi rifled in his first Bundesliga goal after a good passing move from Dortmund in the 33rd minute with Leverkusen's Moussa Diaby having earlier forced a superb save from Dortmund keeper Gregor Kobel.
The keeper had to come to the rescue again three minutes after the restart, stopping both Diaby and Amine Adli in Leverkusen's double chance to level.
"Today it was not only an important win but also a deserved one and this is something we liked. We still have a long way to go but this was a good step now," said Dortmund coach Edin Terzic. "We delivered a solid and strong performance. But don't make us out to be better than we really are or worse than we are.
"This win won't mean much if we don't keep at it and keep delivering the same performances. We are satisfied with the nine points [from three matches this year]."
The visitors, who play Chelsea on Feb. 15 in the Champions League Round of 16, then doubled their lead in the 53rd when defender Edmond Tapsoba turned a Marius Wolf cutback into his own goal.
The Burkina Faso central defender had an evening to forget after almost scoring a second own goal in the 72nd.
He attempted to clear yet another cutback, this time from Julian Brandt, but instead stabbed it towards goal before Jeremie Frimpong came to the rescue and cleared on the line.
Dortmund's third straight victory moved them up to fourth place on 34 points, three off leaders Bayern Munich and one behind third-placed RB Leipzig. Leverkusen are on 24 in ninth place.