Borussia Dortmund piled more misery on Hanover with a 1-0 win on Saturday but there was some good news for the Bundesliga bottom side with relegation rivals Werder Bremen and Julian Nagelsmann's new charges Hoffenheim drawing 1-1.

Dortmund were without injured top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang but Henrikh Mkhitaryan's superb second-half goal cut the gap to leaders Bayern Munich to five points. The defending champions can extend it back to eight points with a win at Augsburg on Sunday.

Hoffenheim were being coached for the first time by 28-year-old Nagelsmann and although they took the lead when Andrej Kramaric's header went in off goalkeeper Felix Wiedwald, hosts Bremen grabbed an equally scrappy leveller through Papy Djilobodji.

The visitors, who saw coach Huub Stevens resign on Wednesday because of heart problems, were forced to dig in late on after Kramaric's second yellow on 77 minutes.

Nagelsmann, the youngest ever Bundesliga coach having been promoted from the youth setup, already showed himself to be humble saying: "It is a point won for us. Bremen had the better chances."

Hanover's seventh straight league defeat left them on 14 points from 21 games with Hoffenheim on 15 also in the automatic dropzone and Werder on 20 in the relegation playoff spot.

Bayer Leverkusen moved third with a 2-1 comeback win at Darmstadt after Hertha Berlin lost 2-0 at resurgent VfB Stuttgart. VfL Wolfsburg snapped a seven-game winless run with a 2-0 home victory over Ingolstadt.

Struggling Eintracht Frankfurt lost 3-1 at ninth-placed Cologne in a very tetchy late game to extend their streak of never having not won there in 22 years.

Alex Meier scored a typical poacher's goal to hand the visitors the lead but Yannick Gerhardt soon hit back. Dominique Heintz headed in a free kick midway through the second half and Anthony Modeste swept home for 3-1 as Eintracht dropped to just a point above Werder.

SV Hamburg host Borussia Moenchengladbach on Sunday. Mainz beat Schalke 2-1 on Friday.

Dortmund played Marco Reus up top on his own with Aubameyang out and the Germany forward almost broke the deadlock in the first half when his free-kick struck the bar.

Thomas Tuchel's side eventually netted after a swift counterattack from one box to the other culminated in Armenia's Mkhitaryan cutting inside and arrowing an unstoppable shot into the bottom corner of the net on 57 minutes.

"It was very tough," said Tuchel. "We were too imprecise and little mistakes crept in after 15 or 20 minutes.

"We know we can play better. We are just very happy that we have got away with it today."

Leverkusen quickly forgot their midweek German Cup exit to Werder by jumping up to third, level on 35 points with Hertha, after coming through a tricky test at Darmstadt.

Sandro Wagner's brave header gave the home side a 28th minute lead on a boggy pitch but Leverkusen, without injured top striker Javier Hernandez, were given a helping hand when Aytac Sulu headed into his own goal after an hour.

Julian Brandt grabbed a scrappy winner 13 minutes from time with Darmstadt appeals for offside ignored.

Stuttgart won for a fifth league game in a row to damage Hertha's surprise Champions League ambitions.

Serey Die's crisp strike early in the second half gave Juergen Kramny's side the impetus and Filip Kostic settled matters as the midtable hosts recovered from their Cup loss to Dortmund.

Last term's runners-up Wolfsburg finally found their groove after an awful run with Julian Draxler grabbing the opener at home to Ingolstadt after a well-worked move.

Robin Knoche bagged their second before the break to help the Wolves steady the ship in eighth place and stop the rot ahead of their Champions League last 16 first-leg clash at Gent on Wednesday.

Related stories

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.