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.
|Marseille´s Rami wants to ´tickle´ PSG|
|Fury targeting Louis´ record for title defences|
|Salah can push on to Messi´s level - Robertson|
|Rabada free to play in rest of South Africa-Australia series|
|F1 2018: Halo splits opinion ahead of Australia debut|
|Iniesta better than last year – Lopetegui|
|Federer yet to decide on clay-court season|
|Okon quits as Mariners head coach|
|LeBron triple-double powers Cavs past Bucks as Love returns|
|Lopetegui: Morata must earn World Cup spot|
|Ronaldo has asked about China – Scolari|
|Ebron signs two-year deal with Colts|
|Spieth, Reed to do battle in Match Play|
|Rangers´ Perez slaughtered, ate bull that caused broken elbow|
|Bills improve offensive line with Bodine, Newhouse|
|Braves phenom Acuna to start season in minors|
|Chargers add Pouncey on two-year deal|
|Ronaldo: I always show I´m the best|
|Joshua would love another Whyte tear-up, says Hearn|
|Manchester United not in Jorginho talks, says Napoli star´s agent|
|Hazard will not be false nine for Belgium, says Martinez|
|Bancroft confident on Starc and Marsh fitness|
|Mayweather to apply for MMA licence|
|Martial agent will not guarantee Manchester United stay|
|Del Potro and Djokovic on early collision course at Miami Open|
|Siemian swaps Broncos for Vikings|
|Broad chomping at the bit to bowl at Black Caps´ Taylor|
|Ronaldo slams ´fake news´ amid latest tax case claims|
|Van Dijk and Gundogan expect tough City-Liverpool tie|
|VAR to be introduced in Eredivisie|
|Di Biagio sees bright Italy future with Cutrone and Chiesa|
|Koeman won´t rule out Van Persie Netherlands return|
|I ate badly for years – how Messi solved his vomiting problem|
|England and Bath´s Watson out for the season|
|McLaren issues ´have been addressed´ ahead of F1 season opener|
|Tuchel feels he would still be at Dortmund without bomb attack|
|Pogba shows off new haircut as Ben Yedder trolls Man United star|
|Pogba cannot be happy but must focus on France, says Deschamps|
|Samuels slogs Windies closer to World Cup qualification|
|Having Rabada in third Test massive - Elgar|
|Cavs coach Lue steps away from job due to health reasons|
|Debuchy disappointed to be left out of latest France squad|
|Barton rejects England´s World Cup chances|
|Hamilton can become greatest F1 driver in history - Kovalainen|
|Sevilla coach Montella interested in Italy job|
|Football brain lacking, poor attitude and fourth choice – The Mourinho-Shaw saga at Manchester Unite|
|I´ve had enough - Pietersen confirms retirement|
|UEFA charges Marseille and Lyon for Europa League trouble|
|Broad ready to do damage in New Zealand series|
|Injured Chiellini out of Italy squad|
|Toulon-bound Webb out for rest of season|
|Buffon cites Astori among reasons for Italy return|
|Welbeck faces no action over alleged dive against Milan|
|Charnley switches back to league to join Warrington|
|Barcelona? I´m staying with PSG, insists Marco Verratti|
|Bastian Schweinsteiger & Ana Ivanovic announce birth of son|
|The numbers behind Cristiano Ronaldo´s 50 hat-tricks|
|Woods relishing end to frustrating Augusta absence|
|Consistency the only thing stopping me from being the best, claims Depay|
|Guardiola second to none tactially, says Man City midfielder Gundogan|
|McIlroy: Bay Hill win a huge confidence boost for Masters|
|F1 2018 Pre-Season Report: Mercedes|
|F1 2018: The best Opta facts ahead of the new season|
|Liverpool captain Henderson ponders Salah and Suarez comparison|
|Messi worried by the uncertainty retirement brings|
|F1 2018 Pre-Season Report: Ferrari|
|Hunt handed ban and fine but cleared to return|
|Rants, criticism a familiar story – Is Mourinho set for Man United exit?|
|Guptill added to Black Caps squad|
|Thunder end Raptors´ streak, Davis stars|