(Reuters) – Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski scored the winner in a 1-0 victory over his former club Borussia Dortmund on Saturday as the Bundesliga leaders maintained their 10-point lead at the top despite a string of absentees.
The Poland forward, who joined Bayern this season, shrugged off a hostile welcome on his league return to the Signal Iduna Park, heading in the winner on the rebound in the Bundesliga’s big game.
The result lifted Bayern to 67 points while Dortmund suffered a setback in their hunt for a European spot, remaining in 10th on 33 points following their first defeat in eight league games.
Missing injured Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and David Alaba among others, the Bavarians lacked their usual punching power but they made up defensively as they completely shut out the hosts.
The 80,667 sell-out crowd had to wait 16 minutes for the first shot on goal in a finely balanced and physical first half.
With a new-look midfield of captain Philipp Lahm, Xabi Alonso and Bastian Schweinsteiger, Bayern gradually found space to go forward while efficiently shutting down space for the hosts.
Neither team had a major scoring chance until Lewandowski’s header after keeper Roman Weidenfeller had denied Thomas Mueller the Pole’s 14th league goal of the season.
Dortmund had the edge in the second half but, apart from a fine Marco Reus free kick in the 88th that Manuel Neuer did well to save, they struggled to break past a tight Bayern back line on the way to their second home league defeat of the year.