A goal from Shinji Kagawa was enough for Borussia Dortmund to claim a 1-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen and defend their place at the top of the Bundesliga for another week.
Kagawa stepped up to take matters into his own hands just before the referee could blow for half-time. He took ball into the area and cut back onto his left foot. Although he seemed to lose his balance, he still managed to shoot into the far corner with Leno getting his foot to the ball, but not preventing it from going in.
Mario Gomez and Thomas Muller scored as Bayern Munich kept up the pressure on Dortmund with a 2-0 victory over Kaiserslautern at the Allianz Arena.
The goals went in during the first half and from that point Bayern never looked in any danger of not winning. They missed further chances in the second half to improve their goal difference, but at least picked up the points to keep them within two points of Dortmund.
Borussia Monchengladbach emphasised their own Champions League credentials with a 3-0 win over Schalke which takes them above their rivals into third place in the table.
All three goals came in the first half for Lucien Favre's side, who trail league leaders Borussia Dortmund by three points and move two ahead of the Royal Blues.
Gladbach's magic triangle of Marco Reus, Mike Hanke and Juan Arango accounted for the goals as the Borussia Park stadium looks increasingly likely to stage European football next season given the Foals' 12-point advantage over seventh-placed Hannover.
Schalke, meanwhile, slip five points adrift of local rivals Dortmund.
Michael Skibbe's nightmare return to Germany continued as his Hertha Berlin side were thrashed 5-0 at Stuttgart to fall to the brink of the bottom three.
Skibbe has lost all five games since taking over as coach this winter from Markus Babbel and this fourth straight Bundesliga reverse will raise serious doubts about his future.
There should be no doubts about the future of Bruno Labbadia as Stuttgart coach, meanwhile, as goals from Vedad Ibisevic, Martin Harnik and Shinji Okazaki in the space of just eight first-half minutes put the home team on course for victory.
To make matters worse for Berlin, they lost Andreas Ottl to a red card before Harnik added a fourth before the interval and Levan Kobiashvili's own goal sealed the comprehensive victory for Stuttgart.
A late goal from Marko Arnautovic denied Markus Babbel a dream debut as coach of Hoffenheim as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Werder Bremen.
Jannik Vestergaard gave Hoffenheim the lead in the fourth minute, but they were denied all three points in the very last minute when Arnautovic struck.
The draw left Hoffenheim still searching for their first win in over two months while it was a precious point for Bremen, who took advantage of Bayer Leverkusen's defeat in Dortmund to move two points clear of their rivals in fifth place.
Artur Sobiech rescued a point for Hannover from their trip to Mainz as he struck late on to cancel out Mohamed Zidan's opener in a 1-1 draw.
Zidan scored for the second game running following his return to Mainz, but it was not enough to earn all three points for Thomas Tuchel's side.
Sobiech's 89th-minute equaliser maintains Hannover's unbeaten start to 2012 and takes them level on points with sixth-placed Bayer Leverkusen in the hunt for a place in the Europa League next season.