Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund clinched a 2-1 win over Freiburg to keep ahead at the top of the league standings. The much-criticzed Raul, meanwhile, hit a hat trick as Schalke demolished Bremen 4-0.
Raul punished Bremen ahead of next week's Champions League fixtures
Dortmund sealed their 11th win from 13 league games on Saturday with a victory over southern German side Freiburg. It also marked the league leaders' seventh consecutive away win.
Dortmund went behind after Germany international Mats Hummels scored an own goal on 26 minutes. The scoreline stayed the same until Poland striker Robert Lewandowski scored the equalizer with a powerful header on 75 minutes after coming on as a substitute.
Bayern's star team could not overcome Leverkusen
The winner came just 12 minutes before the final whistle when Freiburg defender Mensur Mujdza slid the ball into his own net.
"For some reason we didn't really play in the first half," admitted Dortmund's coach Juergen Klopp. "We didn't get ourselves into the positions we wanted. But in the second-half, the side invested more and we deserved the win."
Second-placed Mainz also fought back with a 3-2 win over Borussia Moenchengladbach.
With his side 2-1 down, Tunisia striker Sami Allagui came off the bench to equalize and then headed the winner in the 88th minute as the visitors won their first league match this month.
Defending champions Bayern Munich, now 14 points adrift of the league leaders Dortmund, were held to a 1-1 draw at Leverkusen on Saturday evening.
Bayern are up to eighth in the league while Leverkusen are in third place chasing the leaders.
"The point is ok, but we could have won," said Bayern goal-scorer Mario Gomez. "Dortmund are mentally strong and believe in themselves, but if they lose a few games, we need to be there."
Bastian Schweinsteiger had a header controversially disallowed for offside after just two minutes, but Mario Gomez said his side had to be happy to leave Leverkusen with a point.
"We conceded the equalizer just before half-time, Leverkusen were very strong in the second half, so we have to be happy with the point," said the goal-scorer.
Felix Magath's Schalke thrashed Werder Bremen 4-0 with former Spanish striker Raul scoring a well-deserved hat-trick. Bremen have now lost five of their last six games.
Dortmund came from behind to beat Freiburg
Schalke took a 2-0 lead into the half-time break thanks to goals by Germany defender Christoph Metzelder and Raul.
Metzelder headed in a goal against Bremen after 22 minutes and Raul slammed home his shot two minutes into injury time at the end of the first half.
The Spaniard hit his second on 56 minutes when he latched onto a loose ball on the edge of the Schalke penalty area. Raul then completed his haul with two well-taken second-half goals including a deft chip over Bremen goalkeeper Tim Wiese to leave Schalke 14th and Bremen 11th.
Hanover are fourth after their 3-2 win at Hamburg and Hoffenheim are fifth after they enjoyed a 4-0 win at Eintracht Frankfurt. Meanwhile, mid-table Kaiserslautern recorded a 3-1 win over Nuremberg.
Author: Nigel Tandy (dpa, Reuters)
Editor: Ben Knight