In Sunday's late match Stuttgart beat Ingolstadt 1-0 on the back of an offside goal. Earlier, strugglers Hannover got a far more undeserved 1-0 win over Cologne thanks to a total refereeing black-out.
It's a truism in football that the better team doesn't always win, and that was certainly the leitmotif in Cologne, as the hosts lost 1-0 to Hannover on a goal that should have never been.
The Billy Goats set the tone in the first half but lacked the final punch to get on the scoreboard. Instead it was Hannover nicking the lead in minute 38 in a fashion that had fans in the Rhein-Energie-Stadion clenching their fists in rage.
Christian Schulz got a head to a corner, and the ball was deflected, drawing a fine palmed save by Cologne keeper Timo Horn. But Leon Andreasen swept it over the line with his right forearm - an obvious handball.
Obvious to everyone but referee Bastian Dankert and his team. The goal stood, and Hannover took an unjust 1-0 lead into the dressing rooms. On his way there, Cologne coach Peter Stöger demonstratively offered Dankert his glasses.
"It's irritating that we had a handball referee today," Cologne sports director Jörg Schmadtke fumed after the final whistle. "Give our regards to the German Football Association."
The Billy Goats attacked furiously after the break, maintaining 63 percent of possession and getting off twice as many shots on goal as the visitors. But Hannover keeper Ron-Robert Zieler showed the form that has made him a German national, parrying a number of late efforts and sending the northern Germans home 1-0 winners.
Hannover move up to seventh in the table, while Cologne stay seventh.
Stuttgart squeak by Ingolstadt
Another refereeing blunder made the difference in Sunday's late match, a 1-0 home win for Stuttgart over Ingolstadt.
Ingolstadt have themselves to blame for not taking any points from this one. The newly-promoted upstarts were awarded a penalty after only four minutes, when Martin Harnik brought down Benjamin Hübner. But Mathew Leckie rolled a feeble penalty in the middle, and much-maligned Stuttgart keeper Przemyslaw Tyton saved easily.
That was pretty much all she wrote for highlights for almost sixty minutes, with the two sides cancelling one another out in midfield. Then on the hour mark Stuttgart were gifted the lead.
Defender Florian Klein put in a cross, and an onrushing Daniel Didavi froze Ingolstadt keeper Ramazan Özcan. Didavi was slightly offside, but the goal was allowed to count. It was a forgivable refereeing mistake in the absence of an instant replay.
Ingolstadt were unable to muster a response, and Stuttgart booked a 1-0 victory that took them from dead last up to fifteenth in the table. Werder Bremen, Hoffenheim and Augsburg currently make up the bottom three.