On matchday 21, Julian Nagelsmann's Hoffenheim side faced Werder Bremen in a relegation battle, while the top sides were under pressure to match performance with expectation in their games.
Borussia Dortmund 1-0 Hannover 96
No Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang shouldn't have been a problem for Dortmund at home against a Hannover side on a six-game losing streak. Marco Reus took up the mantle, but could only find the crossbar with a whipped free kick as Thomas Tuchel's side looked good but not dangerous. Hannover, delighted to have reached the half-time break with a clean sheet against the usually free-scoring Dortmund, couldn't make it to the hour mark. Henrikh Mkhitaryan drove forward before drilling an effort past Ron-Robert Zieler. It's fair to say that Aubameyang isn't the only Dortmund player who has been reborn under Tuchel - in all competitions this season, Mkhitaryan has been involved in 35 goals, in 33 games.
Wolfsburg 2-0 Ingolstadt
(Draxler 29', Knoche 40')
The little cloud of pressure that was appearing over Wolfsburg's horizon was blown back after a solid performance against over-achieving Ingolstadt. A deft flick from Julian Draxler and an opportunistic rebound from Robin Knoche gave Dieter Hecking a much-needed victory. In the second half, Koen Casteels (in for the injured Diego Benaglio) prevented a frantic finale with a stunning save.
Darmstadt 1-2 Leverkusen
(Wagner 29' - Sulu o.g. 62', Brandt 77')
Darmstadt's home form is poor, but their pitch is worse and when Bernd Leno was left scrambling in a sandy six-yard box, Sandro Wagner reacted first to head in the rebound. It was a nightmare start to a horror week for Leverkusen, who were struggling to get the bobbling ball under control. It took the visitors a while to come back, but Aytac Sulu's soft header was less clearance and more hinderance, and left Roger Schmidt's side with half an hour to score again to get the three points. Grumpy not to have been awarded a penalty, Darmstadt were slow to react to Leverkusen's counterattack which, eventually, was tapped home by Julian Brandt after good work from Kevin Kampl. The win sends Leverkusen third after Hertha returned to the capital empty-handed.
Stuttgart 2-0 Hertha Berlin
(Serey Die 51', Kostic 84')
In the hipster match-up of the weekend, the Bundesliga's most resurgent side took on the league's surprise package. Stuttgart have come a long way since Vedad Ibisevic was wearing red and white, but it took a smart save from Tyton to deny the Bosnian from sending a painful reminder to his former employers. Serey Die's swinging right foot sent the ball into the far corner soon after the restart to remind the Bundesliga just how remarkable their upturn in form has been. Hertha were irritated, as many sides have been facing this new-look Stuttgart. Julian Schieber came off the bench to make his first appearance in almost a year, but it was Stuttgart who scored again. Vladimir Darida's pass gifted the the hosts the chance to end the contest and, eventually, Filip Kostic finished to inflict a first defeat on Hertha since Bayern Munich did on matchday 14. With that win, Stuttgart are into the top ten.
Cologne 3-1 Eintracht Frankfurt
(Gerhardt 29', Heintz 57', Modeste 72' - Meier 24')
In the pouring rain on Saturday night, Cologne won their first game since beating Dortmund at the end of 2015. Timo Horn made a superb stop to deny Szabolcs Huszti, but the Hungarian had the last laugh when his shot was turned home by Alex Meier. The home side must be sick of the sight of Frankfurt's striker - he now has eight goals in his last four games against Cologne. Fittingly, on the night the home side celebrated their 68th birthday it was local lad Yannick Gerhardt who pulled them level after a terrible touch from Frankfurt's Marco Fabian. A flurry of yellow cards made for an aggressive second half, but the home side eventually kept their nerve. Dominique Heintz headed in from a free kick, before man-of-the-match Gerhardt set up Modeste. Eintracht Frankfurt now sit one point above the relegation spots.
Werder Bremen 1-1 Hoffenheim
(Djilobodji 13' - Kramaric 10')
Having set-up with an attacking starting XI, Julian Nagelsmann enjoyed a dream start as Hoffenheim head coach. His side delivered a delightful move that ended with a superb Andrej Kramaric header. Sadly, and perhaps fittingly for his first Bundesliga game in charge, that dream didn't last long. Having preached about the defensive strength of his team, Hoffenheim conceded a comical equalizer that went in after Papy Djilobodji's goalbound effort deflected off Ermin Bicakcic. Nagelsmann's men recovered and started to dominate possession, but both Claudio Pizarro and Anthony Ujah might have done better at the other end. Kramaric picked up a second yellow late on, but a draw it stayed.