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Dortmund cuts Bayern lead to 5 points; youngest Bundesliga coach Nagelsmann draws 1st game


BERLIN — 's goal was enough for Borussia Dortmund to labor to a 1-0 win over bottom-side Hannover and provisionally cut Bayern Munich's Bundesliga lead to five points Saturday.

Dortmund started brightly with forcing a brilliant save from and then hitting the crossbar with a free kick.

Hannover remained compact, however, forcing the home side to be patient in the face of its defensive setup.

"We know that we can play better. We'll happily take the three points, though," Dortmund coach said.

fired over after the break before Mkhitaryan finally scored in the 57th.

A Hannover attack broke down and the ball fell to Gundogan. He found Reus, who passed to Mkhitaryan. provided a dummy run on the left and Mkhitaryan, faced by a host of defenders backing off, saw his chance and let fly inside the right post.

"I got the ball from . I wanted to play a one-two but then I saw there was a man behind. So I moved inside and wanted to shoot in the far post, and I did it," Mkhitaryan said. The Armenian has 18 goals and 17 assists across 33 competitive games this season.

Hannover slumped to its seventh straight defeat and was seven points from safety.

"We weren't rewarded, as is often the case, but we'll keep going and get our reward," Hannover coach said.

League top-scorer sat out the game for Dortmund due to a foot injury.

Bayern can restore its eight-point lead with a win at Augsburg on Sunday.

Hoffenheim drew 1-1 at Werder Bremen in Julian Nagelsmann's first game in charge of the visitors. The 28-year-old Nagelsmann is the youngest coach ever in the Bundesliga and got off to a great start when put his side ahead in the 10th minute.

However, Papy Djilobodji equalized three minutes later and Hoffenheim was left hanging on after Kramaric was sent off with a second yellow card in the 77th.

"From that point of view we can talk about a point won," Nagelsmann said.

Elsewhere, Stuttgart upset Hertha Berlin 2-0, Bayer Leverkusen took advantage of Hertha's slip and defeated Darmstadt 2-1 to move third, while Wolfsburg beat Ingolstadt 2-0 to end its seven-game run without a win.

Host Cologne defeated Eintracht Frankfurt 3-1 in the late game to leave the visiting side one point off the relegation zone.

Frankfurt talisman scored in the 24th with a deflection to 's shot.

But was gifted the ball and he set up to equalize five minutes later.

put Cologne ahead with a header from a free kick in the 57th, before Gerhardt returned the earlier favor for Modeste to wrap up the win in the 72nd.

In Stuttgart, 's first Bundesliga goal put the home side ahead in the 51st. American defender hit the post for Hertha five minutes later but sealed Stuttgart's fifth straight win in the 84th.

"It doesn't have to end, it can keep going," said Stuttgart coach Juergen Kramny, whose side climbed 10th after being bottom in mid-December.

Leverkusen came from behind to win in Darmstadt. got the home side off the mark in the 28th but an own-goal from and late strike from gave the visitors the win.

In Wolfsburg, crossed with the outside of his boot for the in-rushing to convert past Ingolstadt keeper Ramazan Ozcan in the 29th and made it 2-0 10 minutes later.

PHOTO: Hoffenheim's new coach , Julian Nagelsmann  attends the German Bundesliga soccer match between Werder Bremen and  TSG 1899 Hoffenheim in Bremen, Germany, Saturday Feb. 13, 2016. ( Carmen Jaspersen/dpa via AP)
Hoffenheim's new coach , Julian Nagelsmann attends the German Bundesliga soccer match between Werder Bremen and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim in Bremen, Germany, Saturday Feb. 13, 2016. ( Carmen Jaspersen/dpa via AP)

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PHOTO: From left: Stuttgart's Kevin Grosskeutz Serey Die, Christian Gentner and Georg Niedermeier celebrate Dies'  opening  goal during the German Bundesliga soccer match between VfB Stuttgart and Hertha BSC Berlin in the Mercedes Benz Arena in Stuttgart, Germany, Saturday Feb.  13, 2016.   (Marijan Murat/dpa via AP)
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