New coach Peter Stoeger led Borussia Dortmund to their first victory in 10 games on Tuesday, as his side picked up a hard-fought 2-0 win away to Mainz.
It was victory at the first attempt for Stoeger, who replaced Peter Bosz as head coach of the struggling side on Sunday.
A disciplined defensive performance saw Dortmund battle to victory and pick up their first clean sheet in the Bundesliga since September.
Having struggled in the first half, Dortmund took the lead on 55 minutes. Shinji Kagawa’s free-kick was knocked on to the post, before Sokratis Papastathopoulos lashed the ball in on the rebound.
Kagawa doubled the lead two minutes from time, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang holding the ball up on the counter-attack before setting up the Japanese international.
The win saw Dortmund jump back into the top four after Borussia Moenchengladbach went down 1-0 away at Freiburg.
Nils Petersen scored the winner for Freiburg from 12 yards in the 20th minute after the video assistant referee intervened to give the home side a penalty.
Gladbach’s defeat allowed Eintracht Frankfurt to leapfrog over them into fifth place as they came from behind to win 2-1 away to Hamburg.
Kyriakos Papadopoulos headed in an early opener for Hamburg, but Frankfurt quickly rallied. A ferocious shot from Marius Wolf levelled the scores before Mijat Gacinovic put Frankfurt ahead midway through the first half.
The home side found the net in the second half, but the offside flag denied Hamburg the equaliser and Dennis Diekmeier a first goal in 197 Bundesliga appearances.
AFP / Ronny Hartmann Wolfsburg’s defender Paul Verhaegh (C) kicks the ball before scoring a penalty during the German first division Bundesliga football match between against RB Leipzig December 12, 2017
Earlier, second-place RB Leipzig also dropped points, as they were held to a 1-1 draw away to Wolfsburg.
Marcel Halstenberg’s second-half equaliser saved a point for Leipzig after Paul Verhaegh had put Wolfsburg ahead from the penalty spot early on.
Leipzig also ended the game with 10 men as Dayot Upamecano was shown a second yellow card at the death for a foul on Victor Osimhen.
Second-place Leipzig trail leaders Bayern Munich by seven points and have won just one of their last five league matches.
Bayern entertain bottom club Cologne, who are still to win a game in the Bundesliga this season, on Wednesday as third-placed Schalke host Augsburg. (AFP)