Bayern Munich moved to the top of Die Bundesliga, while Werder Bremen lost a seven-goal thriller to Borussia Monchengladbach.
Bayern Munich returned to the summit for 24 hours at least with a 3-0 victory over Mainz.
Hans Jorg Butt missed the chance to give Bayern the lead on 33 minutes when he failed from the penalty spot.
However, Daniel van Buyten broke the deadlock just before the hour mark and Mario Gomez added a second on 75 minutes.
Arjen Robben put the gloss on the victory with a third four minutes from time.
Schalke kept pace with the top two with a 2-0 win over Hoffenheim.
Kevin Kuranyi set Schalke on their way with the opener after 19 minutes and Lukas Schmitz added a second four minutes after the break.
Werder Bremen fell further behind the leading pack after going down 4-3 to Borussia Monchengladbach.
Monchengladbach stunned Werder by racing into a 3-0 lead in the opening twenty minutes thanks to goals from Marco Reus (4), Roberto Colautti (13) and Raul Marceloa Bobdailla (18).
Mesut Ozil pulled a goal back on 26 minutes, but Bobdailla restored the three-goal cushion on 35 minutes.
Werder fought back with Claudio Pizarro netting five minutes before the break and Torsten Frings reduced the arrears further five minutes before the end, but Monchengladbach held on for the three points.
Albert Bunjaku inspired Nurnberg to a vital 3-1 win over fellow strugglers Hannover with a superb hat-trick.
Bunjaku opened the scoring on 30 minutes and he doubled the lead after 64 minutes.
Jiri Stajner reduced the arrears a minute later, but Bunjaku made the game safe with his third on 69 minutes.
Cologne climbed further clear of trouble with an impressive 2-1 win at Eintracht Frankfurt.
Portuguese international broke the deadlock for Cologne just before the hour mark, but Chris drew Eintracht level on 76 minutes.
Cologne were gifted the win when Marco Russ put through his own net six minutes from time.
Basement boys Hertha Berlin remain rooted to the bottom of the table after being held to a goalless draw at home to Bochum.