Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang nets controversial winner for Dortmund at Leverkusen
Borussia Dortmund kept up their pursuit of Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga with a 1-0 win at Bayer Leverkusen in a game that saw an unusual stoppage in play.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the only goal of the game midway through the second half, and that sparked protests which led to referee Felix Zwayer ordering both teams off the field as Leverkusen coach Roger Schmidt refused to follow orders.
Schmidt watched on from the stands as his side failed to find an equaliser and Dortmund once again reduced the deficit on Bayern to eight points, while increasing their advantage over their hosts to 16 points.
A Jonathan Tah header punctuated the flow of a game being dictated by Dortmund early on, although they were unable to create any chances of note either.
Their first real opportunity came early in the second half when Aubameyang shot wide of the post from eight yards out.
Things started to get a bit heated with Karim Bellarabi lucky to get away with only a yellow card after first fouling Sokratis Papastathopoulos and then confronting the Greek defender head to head after he got back to his feet.
An innocuous challenge involving Stefan Kiessling and Sven Bender in midfield then had ramifications far beyond the initial awarding of a free kick to Dortmund.
They took it quickly with Erik Durm bursting clear and squaring for Aubameyang to put the visitors in front -- much to the anger of the home team, who felt they should have been given the free kick in the first place.
Kiessling led their protests and Schmidt was sent to the stands by Zwayer, but the Leverkusen coach refused to go.
Zwayer twice sent Kiessling to tell his coach he must leave the touchline, but when the Leverkusen forward returned for a second time to relay Schmidt's refusal, Zwayer decided instead that he and his refereeing team would leave.
After a delay of about 10 minutes, Schmidt was finally convinced to leave his technical area, Zwayer and the two teams returned and the action was allowed to continue.
Leverkusen tried to refocus on the task in hand, and Javier Hernandez twice went close, but Dortmund were intent on getting a second too.
Marco Reus was denied in a one-on-one by Bernd Leno and the Germany international then sent a free-kick into the wall, but the biggest chance in the closing stages came at the other end, where Hernandez curled a shot just wide of the right-hand post as Roman Burki watched on with relief.
Zwayer then brought the game to an end almost a minute short of the three minutes of stoppage time he had allocated, but still over 10 minutes after the game's expected conclusion.