Another poor display from goalkeeper Roman Burki saw Borussia Dortmund slip to a third Bundesliga defeat in a row as they went down 2-1 at Stuttgart on Friday.
The Switzerland international, who has come in for criticism for displays in the Champions League in particular this season, endured another difficult 90 minutes as Dortmund slipped to a potentially damaging defeat that extends their recent run to one win in eight games in all competitions.
Much of the pre-match talk was dominated by the omission of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, dropped from the BVB squad for a breach of discipline, with Andre Schurrle handed his first league start of the season in the visitors' attack at Mercedes-Benz Arena.
Under-pressure head coach Peter Bosz had hoped for a strong reaction to the 3-1 loss to Bayern Munich before the international break but they were behind inside the first five minutes, as Chadrac Akolo capitalised on a dreadful mix-up between Burki and Marc Bartra.
Dortmund levelled just before the break, with Maximilian Philipp blasting home after Schurrle had a penalty saved, but Burki allowed Josip Brekalo's shot to slip through his legs six minutes into the second half after Dortmund's defence was caught cold by a counter-attack.
Andriy Yarmolenko had a second equaliser disallowed but Dortmund did not create much else to worry Ron-Robert Zieler in the Stuttgart goal, as they fell to a defeat that leaves them six points behind leaders Bayern, having played a game more.
It took only five minutes for Burki to be thrust back into the spotlight. Bartra allowed a stray long pass to bounce and passed the ball back to his goalkeeper just as Burki was running off his line, which resulted in the ball deflecting into the path of Akolo, who had a simple task of finishing into the empty net.
Dortmund sought a swift response, with Yarmolenko causing problems down the Stuttgart left and Schurrle looking a threat, while Mario Gotze forced a save from Zieler at the end of a promising team move.
Gotze was again denied by an athletic stop from Zieler after being teed up by Yarmolenko but, despite their dominance of possession, the visitors were becoming frustrated by a tough-tackling Stuttgart who were denying them clear-cut opportunities to equalise.
That was until first-half injury time, though. Gotze's cross was blocked by the elbow of Benjamin Pavard and, although Schurrle's penalty was saved by Zieler, Philipp reacted quickest to rifle the rebound high into the net.
However, six minutes into the second half, Dortmund's dreadful defending and Burki's low confidence was again exploited. Brekalo raced clear on the break with nobody but half-time substitute Dan-Axel Zagadou tracking him, before cutting back onto his left foot past the centre-back's poor challenge and firing a shot through the legs of Burki and into the net.
BVB heads had dropped again and only a superb sliding tackle from Bartra denied Takuma Asano from making it 3-1 from close range, while Berkay Ozcan nodded over the crossbar and Asano saw a header well held by Burki.
Yarmolenko lobbed Zieler in style but the goal was ruled out for a handball by the winger, and Dortmund got no closer to salvaging a point from another poor performance.
Pressure is now likely to mount on Bosz, with matches against Tottenham, Schalke, Bayer Leverkusen and Real Madrid to come in the coming weeks.
|No Champions League pressure as PSG´s Tuchel calls for patience|
|Nationals´ Juan Soto hits homer in second career at-bat|
|Buffon to decide future in a week amid PSG speculation|
|Eli Apple embarrassed by 2017 antics, ready to move forward|
|Bills release Richie Incognito from reserve/retired list|
|Gentry and Pelicans want Cousins back in New Orleans|
|MLB extends Blue Jays closer Osuna´s administrative leave|
|Lloris, Jedinak and Kjaer ask FIFA to allow Guerrero to play at World Cup|
|Wolfsburg preserve Bundesliga status after play-off win over Kiel|
|Zidane was my idol and always will be - Wijnaldum|
|Liverpool ready to fly out of the blocks in Kiev - Henderson|
|Montreal Impact 0 LA Galaxy 1: Ibrahimovic sent off for slapping opponent|
|Real Madrid v Liverpool: Salah, Ronaldo lead the line in combined XI|
|Bertens keeps hat-trick hopes alive in Nuremberg|
|Monfils and Mannarino fail to fly the flag in Lyon|
|Morata, Fabregas, Herrera and more in Spain´s World Cup rejects XI|
|Reina to face FIGC hearing|
|Emery set to be appointed by Arsenal - reports|
|LeBron ´appreciative´ of hometown effort to put up statue of him|
|Cazorla leaves Arsenal after injury nightmare|
|Derby´s Rowett seeks permission for Stoke talks|
|Messi physically and mentally ready for the World Cup, Sampaoli proclaims|
|Murray expected to return at Rosmalen Grass Court Championships|
|More to Madrid than just Ronaldo - Robertson|
|Wolff: Red Bull and Ferrari favourites in Monaco|
|Iniesta hailed by Xavi as ´the most talented player in the history of Spain´|
|If you Googled ´European nights´, Liverpool would be top result - Klopp|
|Icardi cut from Argentina World Cup squad|
|Test recall a ´fantastic surprise´ for Buttler|
|Klopp needs Premier League to be a Liverpool great – Johnston|
|Salah is ´definitely´ world´s best - Lovren|
|Rhinos captain Watkins ruled out for eight months|
|No clue - Klopp defiant over Can to Juventus claims|
|Younis tips Babar for Pakistan greatness|
|Germany squad numbers hint at World Cup good news for Neuer|
|WATCH: Moto3 rider makes spectacular jump over crashed rival|
|Leaving out Morata ´painful´ for Spain boss Lopetegui|
|Gustard to leave England role for Harlequins|
|Nainggolan retires from Belgium duty after World Cup snub|
|Spain striker Morata misses out on World Cup selection|
|LeBron or Kawhi could lead Lakers to the Finals - World Peace|
|Serena steps up Roland Garros training ahead of French Open|
|Nainggolan left out of Belgium´s World Cup squad|
|The long goodbye: Iniesta sits alone in Camp Nou after final Barcelona match|
|Wane to leave Warriors at end of season|
|Dr Fury will see you now - Tyson plans future career in medicine|
|Harden, D´Antoni rue ´soft´ Rockets performance in Warriors drubbing|
|Liverpool players can change their lives in Kiev, says Gerrard|
|Real Madrid v Liverpool: Can great deeds of the past fuel the bid for Champions League glory?|
|Wash your mouth out! - Curry´s expletive outburst earns scolding from mother|
|Rakitic lost for words as Iniesta heads for Barcelona exit|
|Conte: Chelsea must overhaul squad to change style|
|Johnston: Liverpool can´t lose Suarez, Coutinho and Salah!|
|Messi: I like Griezmann, he´s one of the best|
|Ohtani says he´s not good enough for Home Run Derby yet|
|Mendy: France are eyeing World Cup glory|
|Scott accepts two-week ban for Walker punch|
|Braves rally for six runs in the ninth to defeat Marlins|
|MLS Review: Red Bulls upstage Atlanta thanks to Wright-Phillips brace|
|Warriors breeze past Rockets in game three|
|We have a quality squad – Man City chairman hints at caution in transfer market|
|Wise cruises to maiden PGA Tour victory at Byron Nelson|
|Matic: United can fight for Premier League and Champions League with experience|
|Golden Knights GM on Stanley Cup Finals berth: I don´t know how we did it|
|I did a ´s*** job´ defending LeBron James – Morris|
|Dembele suffers sprained right ankle|
|We know Fellaini´s not going to renew with United – Mirabelli suggests Milan move|
|Cavs´ Lue not satisfied with just one win|
|They even whistled at Torres – Simeone backs Griezmann|
|I arrived as a boy, I leave as a man – Iniesta in emotional Barcelona farewell|