Borussia Dortmund took the initiative in the Bundesliga title race after recording a narrow 2-1 victory over Mainz to open up a seven-point lead over Bayern Munich, who lost to Bayer Leverkusen.
Jakub Blaszczykowski opened the scoring for the league leaders in the first-half before Mohamed Zidan snatched an equaliser for Mainz against the club he left just over a month ago.
However, three minutes after Zidan had come back to haunt Dortmund, Shinji Kagawa popped up to score the winner for Jurgen Klopp's side.
Bayern Munich's title challenge suffered a major setback as they were beaten 2-0 at Bayer Leverkusen, thanks to a pair of late goals.
Stefan Kiessling gave the home side the lead in the 80th minute of an entertaining encounter at the BayArena with Karim Bellarabi sealing the win in the last minute.
Leverkusen went ahead when Kiessling met Derdiyok's overhead kick across goal for a simple tap-in with the Bayern defenders nowhere to be seen.
As Bayern looked for an equaliser, they committed too many men forward and they were caught out with Gonzalo Castro squaring the ball to Ballarabi, who slid in the second in the 90th minute to earn Dutt his first ever win over Bayern at the sixth attempt.
Bruno Labbadia celebrated a winning return to Hamburg as his Stuttgart side claimed a crushing 4-0 win.
Labbadia was sacked as coach of Hamburg less than two years ago and this was his first time back at the HSV-Arena, his side coming away with a second straight win and second straight four-goal haul.
Vedad Ibisevic gave them the lead and two penalties from Zdravko Kuzmanovic ended the game as a contest with Paolo Guerrero's red card added to the home side's misery. Martin Harnik then completed the scoring with his eighth goal of 2012.
Freiburg moved off the foot of the Bundesliga with a surprise 2-1 win over Champions League-chasing Schalke.
Sebastian Freis and Daniel Caligiuri were on target for the home side as they bounced back from their 4-1 defeat to Stuttgart last weekend with a victory which effectively ends Schalke's diminishing hopes of winning the Bundesliga this season.
Teemu Pukki scored a consolation for the Royal Blues, who ended the game with 10 men as Kyriakos Papadopoulos saw red late on.
Hertha Berlin finally picked up their first victory of 2012 as Otto Rehhagel's team beat his former club Werder Bremen 1-0 to snap a long winless streak.
Nikita Rukavytsya scored the only goal of the Bundesliga contest in the 62nd minute for the hosts, who won in Rehhagel's second game at the helm in the German capital.
Jan-Ingwer Callsen-Bracker's late penalty gave Augsburg a 2-2 draw and an important point from Saturday's game at Hannover.
Augsburg went ahead after 12 minutes through Axel Bellinghausen before Karim Haggui equalised in the 33rd minute.
Hannover took the lead in the 69th minute thanks to Mame Biram Diouf, before Callsen-Bracker's spot-kick levelled the scores in the 89th minute.
Augsburg have lost just once in their last six games to improve to 22 points while Hannover - who remained undefeated at home this season - have collected just one win in their last four contests and move to 35 points.
Kaiserslautern and Wolfsburg shared the spoils in a goalless draw did neither struggling team many favours.