Borussia Dortmund gets back to winning ways, beat Hoffenheim

Associated Press

12/16/2012 12:26:41 PM

BERLIN -- Borussia Dortmund ended its three-game run without a victory in the Bundesliga by winning 3-1 at relegation-threatened Hoffenheim on Sunday.

Mario Goetze scored first for the defending champions when he unleashed an unstoppable effort from the left of the area through the legs of a defender for the ball to fly inside the near post in the 26th minute.

Dortmund looked shaky in defence, however, with midfielder Jakub Blaszczykowski filling in as a makeshift left back for Marcel Schmelzer, who was out with a sinus infection.

It was no surprise when Kevin Volland crossed for Sven Schipplock to nip in between two defenders to equalize in the 35th.

The visitors improved after the break. Marco Reus crossed for Kevin Grosskreutz to convert from close range in the 58th with Goetze having a hand in the buildup.

Robert Lewandowski settled the issue seven minutes later when he took the ball past the goalkeeper and finished with aplomb from a difficult angle, condemning Hoffenheim to its sixth straight loss.

"That was a show of spirit," Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp said.

Dortmund goes into the Bundesliga's winter break in third place, three points behind Bayer Leverkusen and 12 back from Bayern Munich.

"We have to do more in the second half of the season," said Dortmund defender Mats Hummels, who celebrated his 24th birthday Sunday. "There's no disquiet here, but we know that we ourselves have given away eight or nine points in the first half of the season. That's annoying."

Hoffenheim, which sacked Markus Babbel as coach after its fourth straight loss, is mired in the relegation playoff place, seven points from safety.

Players held up a banner asking fans' for support before the game, and they applauded supporters from the rain-soaked pitch afterward.

"The guys gave everything they had," said interim coach Frank Kramer. "You can't fault the team effort."

Werder Bremen hosted Nuremberg later Sunday.