Borussia Dortmund needed a goal from in-form teenager Jadon Sancho to beat Freiburg 1-0 in the Bundesliga on Saturday after a lacklustre performance from the Ruhr valley club.
There were no usual attacking fireworks for Dortmund and, apart from Sancho's 15th-minute goal, chances for the hosts were few and far between. Freiburg got their share of scoring opportunities in the second half but could not find an equaliser.
Sancho, who has also 14 assists to his name, has now scored for the seventh consecutive league home game and has netted 14 times in the Bundesliga this season.
Dortmund are third on 48 points, level on points with second-placed RB Leipzig, who host Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday.
Freiburg went close to finding the equaliser in a nervous final 15 minutes for the home side, however their defence held firm as they drew level on points with second-placed RB Leipzig.
Borussia Moenchengladbach also kept pace with the top of the table, moving into outright fourth with a 3-2 win away at Augsburg.
Lars Stindl scored two for the visitors, while Ramy Bensebaini also got on the scoresheet.
Alfred Finnbogason's 83rd minute strike -- after Eduard Loewen scored the home side's opener in the 57th minute -- reduced the deficit to one, but the visitors closed the game out to pick up a valuable three points.
In Mainz, the home side also snared a crucial victory with a 2-0 win over fellow relegation battlers Paderborn.
Two first-half strikes from Robin Quaison (29th minute) and Karim Onisiwo (37th) were enough to take Mainz to 15th in the table, giving them a four-point buffer on the relegation places.(With inputs from AFP and Reuters)