Robert Lewandowski solitary goal was enough to help Bayern Munich claim the win at the striker’s former club Borussia Dortmund in the Klassiker on Saturday.
Dortmund went into the encounter in resurgent form as the Bumble Bees aimed at maintaining their hopes of finishing the Bundesliga season in a Europa League spot.
Bayern meanwhile looked to bounce back from defeat to Borussia Monchengladbach just before the international break, with captain Philip Lahm making a first start in four months for the league leaders.
Bayern also welcomed back Spanish midfielder Thiago Alcantara who came off the bench to make his first appearance in a year, when he replaced Lahm in the second half.
The champions were however without talisman Arjen Robben – due to a torn abdominal muscle – in a keenly contested encounter at the Signal Iduna Park.
Notwithstanding, it was Bayern that edged proceedings in the opening half and had the ball in the Dortmund net after 15 minutes only for Lewandowski’s effort to be ruled out for offside.
The Polish striker however got his goal nine minutes before the break when he reacted quickest to head home after Roman Weidenfeller had kept out Thomas Müller’s initial effort.
Dortmund unsurprisingly looked the more urgent side in the second half, with Ilkay Gundogan and Marco Reus going close as Jürgen Klopp’s men searched for an equaliser.
That almost came two minutes from time as Reus curled in a freekick around the Bayern wall towards the bottom corner, only for Manuel Neuer to produce a spectacular one-hand save and ensure Bayern sealed a narrow win.
Elsewhere in the Bundesliga on Saturday, Ricardo Rodriguez scored twice to help second placed Wolfsburg to a 3-1 win at home to bottom club Vfb Stuttgart.
Borussia Monchengladbach followed up on an impressive win over Bayern last time out with an equally impressive 4-1 win at midtable Hoffenheim to remain third with 50 points, seven points behind Wolfsburg.
Bayer Leverkusen follow in the fourth and final UEFA Champions League spot as Stefan Kießling and Gonzalo Castro scored twice apiece in a 4-0 demolition of struggling Hamburg.