In Saturday's Bundesliga action, Bayer Leverkusen conceded a goal in stoppage time, drawing 2-2 at Hoffenheim. Bayern Munich trounced Frankfurt with a 4-1 win, but Dortmund remain the team to beat.
Bayer were ahead until the final minutes.
Third-placed Bayer Leverkusen dropped agonizing points in stoppage time, after conceding a late penalty to draw 2-2 in Hoffenheim. Meanwhile, two goals from Anatoliy Tymoschchuck helped Bayern Munich to a comfortable 4-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt in Saturday’s Bundesliga action.
Elsewhere Schalke failed to live up to their recent form in a crushing 5-0 defeat by Kaiserslautern. By contrast, fourth-placed Hanover kept up their momentum with a 3-0 win over Freiburg.
Dortmund still dominate the table after their 4-1 win
On Friday night, Mainz had pulled to within four points of Dortmund with a convincing 3-0 victory at home over Nuremberg to consolidate second place.
But Dortmund did not waver on Saturday, and restored their seven-point lead at the top of the table in the day's late kick-off, winning 4-1 against Moenchengladbach.
Out of touch
Leverkusen move to 26 points but are now four points behind Mainz and eleven adrift of runaway leaders Borussia Dortmund - the fact that they had a two-goal lead against Hoffenheim will not help their mood on Saturday night.
Sidney Sam put Leverkusen ahead in the eigth minute, and Arturo Vidal added another with a penalty two minutes later, but Hoffenheim made it 2-1 with a Vedad Ibisevic header in the 39th minute.
The win looked secure for Leverkusen until a penalty awarded for a foul by Gonzalo Castro on Marvin Commper in stoppage time. Iceland midfielder Gylfi Thor Sigurdsson converted the kick for Hoffenheim.
"When you are leading by two goals you want to win the game, but you have to say objectively that Hoffenheim deserved the point," said Leverkusen coach Jupp Heynckes.
Champions still in the running
Bayern secured a comfortable win over Frankfurt to keep their title defense alive.
Tymoshchuck opened the scoring for Bayern on the half hour, only for league top scorer Theofanis Gekas to level with a header four minutes later for his twelfth goal in 14 games.
Munich's Mario Gomez can't stop scoring
Thomas Mueller scored in the 59th minute after Oka Nikolov in goal failed to hold a Bastian Schweinsteiger shot, and Mario Gomez got Bayern’s third goal in similar fashion two minutes later. Tymoschchuck completed the scoring with his second two minutes from time.
For Gomez, little more than a reserve last season, it was the 15th goal in the last 11 games.
"Gomez is very important for us because he is scoring the goals, and that is important for a team," said coach Louis van Gaal. "You cannot imagine the team without him now."
Schalke may be in the Champions League, but…
Schalke's 3-0 midweek win over Lyon in the Champions League counted for nothing at Kaiserslautern where Felix Magath's side slumped to a 5-0 defeat.
Two corners proved the undoing of Schalke in the first half, with Srdjan Lakic heading Kaiserslautern ahead in the eighth minute and Martin Amedick adding the second in the 39th.
It wasn't a good night for Felix Magath
Lakis scored his second nine minutes after the break before a penalty from Ivo Ilicevic in the 76th and a header from Jan Moravek two minutes from time completed the misery for Magath's side.
It was Schalke's heaviest Bundesliga defeat since 1992, when they lost 6-1 against Bayer Leverkusen.
"We didn't have the attitude," said Magath. "I am even glad the defeat was so high because it shows clearly what has to be done."
The day's other games
Fourth-placed Hanover earned a 3-0 victory over visiting Freiburg. Jan Schlaudraff struck in the 15th minute and set up Didier Ya Konan for the second in the 73rd before a third in the 89th from Mike Hanke.
Hamburg left Stuttgart in trouble near the bottom with a 4-2 victory helped by the early dismissal of Stuttgart striker Ciprian Marica.
Author: Joanna Impey (AFP, dpa, Reuters)
Editor: Ben Knight