BERLIN, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Bundesliga leaders Schalke 04 suffered a 1-0 defeat at home to Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday when they were hit by a Stefan Kiessling sucker punch five minutes from time.
Schalke were looking to go seven points clear at the top but they missed their chances and an excellent finish from Kiessling meant they failed even to claim a point.
The damage was limited when title rivals Werder Bremen were held to a 2-2 draw away to Borussia Moenchengladbach, who grabbed their second equaliser four minutes into added time through Nando Rafael.
With 23 games played, Schalke lead the standings with 49 points, although they are looking a lot less comfortable at the top after taking just a point from their last two matches.
VfB Stuttgart, who only managed a goalless draw at home to Hertha Berlin on Friday, are second on 45, while Werder are third on 43.
The only winners among the big teams were Bayern Munich, who saw off VfL Wolfsburg 2-1 at the Allianz Arena on Saturday.
Bayern remain in fourth place on 40 points, now just three points away from the Champions League places and, with 11 games left to play, still not completely out of the reckoning for a third successive title.