BERLIN, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Werder Bremen slipped three points behind Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich when they capped a bad week with a 2-1 defeat at home to Bochum on Sunday.
Daniel Jensen gave Werder the lead just before halftime and the home side were in control until Benjamin Auer nipped in for an equaliser in the 68th minute.
Werder hopes were hit by a red card for centre-back Naldo two minutes later and Anthar Yahia made them pay when he grabbed a late winner.
Sunday's defeat was a third disappointment for the club in six days, after the first and second teams were knocked out of the German Cup on consecutive nights this week.
It gave Bayern breathing space at the top with 39 points from 18 games following a 2-1 win over Hansa Rostock on Friday.
Werder, who stay second on 36, must travel to face Bayern in the Bundesliga match next Sunday, knowing defeat would leave them six points adrift.
Schalke 04 made a great start to the second half of the season with a 4-1 home win over champions VfB Stuttgart.
Kevin Kuranyi got two of the goals against his former club and there was more to celebrate when Ze Roberto -a new signing not to be confused with the Bayern player of the same name - scored just two minutes into his debut after coming on as a sub.
Victory took Schalke back up to fifth with 32 points, one behind Bayer Leverkusen and Hamburg SV in third and fourth respectively.
Werder only had themselves to blame for losing against Bochum. They missed a stack of chances in the opening hour and were punished for collective errors in defence on the two goals and the sending-off of Naldo.
'It was just like in the Cup defeat in Dortmund,' coach Thomas Schaaf told reporters. 'We can't afford to let this happen again. We had enough chances to win this.'