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Borussia Dortmund have extended their lead at the top of the German Bundesliga after outmuscling Ruhr rivals Schalke 2-1 away, with Bayern Munich also notching up a win to move second.
Jadon Sancho grabbed a superb winner on 74 minutes on Saturday to put unbeaten Dortmund on 36 points from 14 games, nine ahead of Bayern who overcame struggling Nuremberg 3-0 at home thanks to Robert Lewandowski’s double.
Third-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach could yet leap back into second spot and cut Dortmund’s advantage back to seven points if they win their Sunday home clash with VfB Stuttgart.
In Saturday’s other early results, Freiburg beat RB Leipzig 3-0 at home, Wolfsburg drew 2-2 with visitors Hoffenheim and Bayer Leverkusen won 1-0 at home to Augsburg after Lucas Alario’s lucky finish.
With the Arena AufSchalke roof closed due to inclement weather, the atmosphere of the Ruhr derby was especially electric but Dortmund quickly gained the upper hand.
Denmark midfielder Thomas Delaney, one of the close-season signings who have helped turn Dortmund into title contenders, expertly headed in a Marco Reus free-kick on seven minutes.
Schalke, unbeaten in their previous five league meetings with Dortmund, fought back through Daniel Caligiuri’s penalty on the hour after Reus got in a tangle with Amine Harit and the video assistant intervened.
But Dortmund had the last laugh with England winger Sancho being allowed to dance into the area and fashion a fine finish before Raphael Guerreiro almost scored a third when he hit the post.
Bayern coasted to victory at home to third-bottom Nuremberg, who have now shipped a league high 33 goals so far.
Their defence and goalkeeper Fabian Bredlow were badly exposed by Lewandowski being able to head in Joshua Kimmich’s corner almost unchallenged.
The Poland striker doubled the lead on 27 minutes when he tapped in after Leon Goretzka’s clever effort came back off the bar. Franck Ribery got the third after more hapless defending.
The win further eases the pressure on Bayern coach Niko Kovac, who has now won two in the league on the bounce following a run of three without a win.
Eintracht Frankfurt can move third with maximum points at Hertha Berlin in Saturday’s late game.
Werder Bremen beat bottom side Fortuna Dusseldorf 3-1 on Friday. Second bottom Hanover visit Mainz on Sunday.