Borussia Dortmund have made their best league start to a calendar year since 2012 after they claimed a seventh straight Bundesliga victory with a narrow 1-0 win over TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, which moves them to the top of the table for the time being.
Hoffenheim, meanwhile, were aiming to claim their first league win since October, and they went desperately close to taking the lead in the 15th minute.
Just after the half-hour mark, Sébastien Haller exquisitely created his own space to force Baumann into a fine stop, and from the resulting corner, the Ivorian was once again denied by the quick reactions of the Hoffenheim goalkeeper.
Just when it seemed as though the hosts would make it to the break unscathed, a dangerous Marco Reus free-kick flicked off the back of Julian Brandt and into the net to give Dortmund a narrow HT lead.
The opening 15 minutes of the second period proved to be a busy period for those in the VAR room.
While Baumann had to pull off a fine stop from Raphaël Guerreiro’s deflected strike, his opposite number, Gregor Kobel, was doing his utmost to protect Dortmund’s lead, thwarting Baumgartner and OGC Nice loanee Kasper Dolberg.
Jude Bellingham thumped the post in stoppage time, but Brandt’s first-half effort proved enough for Dortmund to move three points clear at the top, while the hosts drop into the relegation play-off spot following a 12-game winless league run.