Pulisic leads Dortmund to 3-0 win over Stuttgart

Stuttgart's Benjamin Pavard, up, and Dortmund's Michy Batshuayi challenge for the ball during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and VfB Stuttgart in Dortmund, Germany, Sunday, April 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Stuttgart's head coach Tayfun Korkut reacts during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and VfB Stuttgart in Dortmund, Germany, Sunday, April 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Dortmund's team celebrates after the German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and VfB Stuttgart in Dortmund, Germany, Sunday, April 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Dortmund's head coach Peter Stoeger watches during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and VfB Stuttgart in Dortmund, Germany, Sunday, April 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Dortmund's Maximilian Philipp, right, scores during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and VfB Stuttgart in Dortmund, Germany, Sunday, April 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Stuttgart's Holger Badstuber is on the ground disappointed after they received the third goal during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and VfB Stuttgart in Dortmund, Germany, Sunday, April 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

BERLIN — Borussia Dortmund recovered from a lackluster first half to beat Stuttgart 3-0 in the Bundesliga on Sunday, gaining some confidence for next weekend's Ruhr derby.

Christian Pulisic scored one goal, with a bit of luck, and set up Maximilian Philipp to seal the win as Dortmund consolidated third place ahead of the clash at second-place Schalke.

Dortmund's 6-0 rout by Bayern Munich in the previous round appeared to weigh down the home side.

Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc said that 6-0 defeat was "on our backs" for the first 25 minutes. "It was better with the lucky goal from Pulisic. In the second half we found our normal rhythm and then deserved to win."

Dortmund supporters appeared unhappy before Pulisic's attempted cross sailed over Ron-Robert Zieler in the Stuttgart goal and nestled inside the far post's top corner before the break.

Dortmund emerged for the second half with intent and duly scored minutes later when Nuri Sahin crossed for Michy Batshuayi to grab his seventh goal in nine games since his winter loan move from Chelsea.

Mahmoud Dahoud sent a cross to the far post for Pulisic to pull it back for Philipp. Zieler saved his first effort but Philipp made no mistake with the rebound before the hour-mark.

Pulisic might have made it 4-0 only to be denied by Zieler.

"We'll need another improvement in performance," Zorc said of the upcoming derby. "But I'm looking forward to the game."

___

FRANKFURT FOURTH

Serge Gnabry scored again for Hoffenheim to earn a 1-1 draw at Eintracht Frankfurt that keeps both sides' European ambitions intact.

The on-loan Bayern Munich striker was played in by Mark Uth 10 minutes after the break, and he eluded a defender before shooting inside the left post.

It was Gnabry's third goal in two games and his eighth of the season so far.

Luka Jovic had given the home side the lead only minutes before.

Frankfurt moved fourth into the last place for Champions League qualification, though it can be overtaken Monday by both Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen, depending on their game's result.

Hoffenheim stayed seventh with five games remaining.

Bayern clinched the title on Saturday to extend its league record to six championships in a row.

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