Bayern Munich opened up the title race in Germany with a 2-0 win over leaders Schalke at the Allianz Arena.
Schalke found themselves on the back foot from the third minute as Dutch marksman Roy Makaay fired Bayern ahead.
The goal was a notable one for Makaay, as it was his 100th goal in Bayern colours.
The visitors failed to fashion a response and Hasan Salihamidzic's goal on 78 minutes sealed their fate.
And their woes were compounded as Peter Lovenkrands picked up what appeared to be a serious injury in the first half.
Werder Bremen passed up the chance to take over at the top as they were held to a 0-0 draw at Energie Cottbus.
Stuttgart seized their chance to close to within four points of Schalke with a 3-1 win over Alemannia Aachen.
Marco Streller fired Stuttgart ahead on 29 minutes, but they were pegged back on the hour by Moses Sichone.
Stuttgart dug deep into their reserves and goals from Benjamin Lauth and Cacau sealed a vital three points.
Bayer Leverkusen reinforced their European claims with a comfortable 3-1 win at Mainz.
Sergei Barbarez laid with foundations with a brace in the first half and Bernd Schneider's effort just after half-time took the game beyond Mainz. Mohamed Zidan bagged a consolation for the home side.
Nurnberg are another side with designs on Europe and they ran out 2-1 winners over Hertha Berlin.
Tomas Galasek fired Nurnberg into an early lead and the points were secured when Marco Engelhardt netted on the hour mark, as his effort rendered Christian Gimenez's effort nothing more than a consolation.
Federico Insua popped up with a last-minute goal to earn bottom club Borussia Monchengladbach a home point against Eintracht Frankfurt.
Sotirios Krygiakos' early goal looked enough to sink Gladbach, before Insua's late intervention.
Click below for a match summary
Bayern Munich v Schalke
Borussia Monchengladbach v Eintracht Frankfurt
Energie Cottbus v Werder Bremen
Nurnberg v Hertha Berlin
FSV Mainz v Bayer Leverkusen
Stuttgart v Alemannia.Aachen