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Dortmund go top after win at Nuremberg


Defending champions Borussia Dortmund went top of the German league on Friday night with an impressive 2-0 win at Nuremberg in sub-zero temperatures.

Striker Lucas Barrios came off the bench to score his first goal of the season eight minutes from time after Dortmund captain Sebastian Kehl had put his team ahead just after the break.

The three points mean Dortmund leap-frog Bayern Munich into top spot, but the Bavarians can regain first place if they win at Hamburg on Saturday night and third-placed Schalke can also draw level on 43 points if they win at Mainz.

"That was definitely a hard-fought victory," admitted goalscorer Kehl.

"We didn't play as well as we did last week (in the 3-1 home victory over Hoffenheim). Nuremberg were very compact and didn't make it easy, so it was important we went 1-0 up when we did.

"I am also delighted that Lucas was able to score after attracting so many headlines this week. He has shown he still has the quality to help us."

Frustrated after losing his first-team place to Robert Lewandowski, Barrios had previously stated he wanted to leave Dortmund and up until the transfer window closed on Tuesday, there was media speculation here that he would leave.

Having scored 16 goals in 32 games last season as Dortmund won the Bundesliga by seven points, Barrios had failed to hit the target in the first half of the current campaign, but he took his chance clinically.

This is the first time since the end of November that Dortmund have topped the standings and in bitterly cold conditions they ground out a result against mid-table Nuremberg having dominated their hosts.

Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp was forced into an early change after just 22 minutes as midfielder Sven Bender was injured while challenging for the ball and he was replaced by teenager Moritz Leitner.

The 19-year-old started the move that led to the opening goal, with defender Lukasz Piszczek providing the final pass for Kehl to slot home on 48 minutes.

Having taken the lead, Klopp's youthful team asserted their control in a manner that belied the absence of playmaker Mario Goetze, who is out for up to two months with a groin injury.

With 20 minutes left, Klopp brought Barrios off the bench for Lewandowski and the Paraguay centre-forward showed his finishing prowess to prod home a rebound from Shinji Kagawa's shot for Dortmund's second.