66th-minute bicycle-kick gave champions Borussia Dortmund a 1-0
victory at lowly Hertha Berlin on Saturday and a three-point
lead at the top of the Bundesliga.
Germany international Grosskreutz scored from a tight angle
after goalkeeper Thomas Kraft palmed away a Robert Lewandowski
header to lift Dortmund to 49 points from 22 matches, three
ahead of Borussia Monchengladbach who won 2-1 at
Bayern Munich stumbled to a goalless draw at bottom club
Freiburg to drop four points off the lead in third place.
Dortmund are now unbeaten in 16 league games while Hertha,
who appointed Otto Rehhagel as coach ahead of their 1,000th
Bundesliga game, remained 15th after slumping to a fifth
straight league defeat.
"It does not always have to be beautiful football,"
Grosskreutz told reporters after Dortmund's sixth straight
league win. "The main thing is we got all three points."
Dortmund, missing attacking midfielders Mario Gotze and
Shinji Kagawa, lacked their usual creativity and apart from two
efforts by Lucas Barrios had little to show for the first half
in front of a sell-out 74,000 crowd at the Olympic Stadium.
Hertha took control after the break and Patrick Ebert twice
fired narrowly wide in a four-minute spell.
Dortmund struck at just the right time, Grosskreutz's goal
deflating Hertha hopes of a first league win since October.
Bayern did not look serious title contenders at Freiburg and
not even the introduction of Dutch winger Arjen Robben in the
second half could change their fortunes.
Goals from Patrick Herrmann and Juan Arango kept Gladbach, who needed to win a play-off last season to
avoid relegation, flying high.
But Hermann, who has been in the running for a Germany
call-up, faces several weeks on the sidelines after breaking his
collarbone in a first-half collision with Kaiserslautern
defender Florian Dick.
"It is a pity for him after the season he has had and it is
a pity for us," said Gladbach coach Lucien Favre. "Let's hope he
is back in six weeks."
In an entertaining northern derby, fifth-placed Werder
Bremen won 3-1 at Hamburg SV with goals from Marko Marin, Tom
Trybull and Marko Arnautovic.
Mladen Petric was on target for the hosts.
Bayer Leverkusen bounced back from their midweek defeat by
Barcelona in the Champions League to crush second from bottom
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