Javi Martinez scored his first goal for Bayern Munich as they dismantled Hannover 5-0 with ease at the Allianz Arena to power on at the top of the Bundesliga.
Martinez opened the scoring in the fourth minute before Toni Kroos and Franck Ribery made it three before half-time.
Dante and Mario Gomez wrapped up victory in the second half with Hannover, whose coach Mirko Slomka is strongly regarded as the main candidate to replace Jupp Heynckes on the Bayern bench next season, unable to make any impression on the scoreline.
Borussia Dortmund moved up to second courtesy of a 2-1 win at Mainz.
Marco Caligiuri put the hosts in front as early as the fourth minute, but Marco Reus equalised eight minutes later.
Robert Lewandowski earned Dortmund all three points as they took full advantage of a draw between Schalke and Eintracht Frankfurt to leap above both of them into second, nine points adrift of league leaders Bayern.
Schalke fell even further behind as they were held 1-1 by third-placed Eintracht at the Arena AufSchalke.
Klaas Jan Huntelaar put the Royal Blues in front in the 11th minute, but Stefan Aigner responded within two minutes to earn Armin Veh's side a point. Schalke did all of the attacking in the second half, but not even with an extra man following Karim Matmour's red card in the 87th minute could Huub Stevens' side find a winner.
Wolfsburg and 10-man Werder Bremen shared the points in a 1-1 result that does little to help the lofty aspirations that both teams have this season.
Marko Arnautovic gave Bremen the lead in the 35th minute but they lost Lukas Schmitz to a red card in the 62nd minute and Wolfsburg equalised almost immediately through Bas Dost.
Greuther Furth picked up a point at home in their fight against relegation in a lacklustre 0-0 draw against local rivals and fellow strugglers Nurnberg in a clash where both teams finished with 10 men.
In the 255th meeting between the clubs, Markus Feulner was sent off for Nurnberg in the 35th minute while Sercan Sararer also saw red after picking up his second booking for Furth after 61 minutes.