Mainz lost their first game of the season with a 1-0 defeat at home against Hamburg today while Mario Gomez scored three goals to put injury-riddled reigning German champions Bayern Munich back on a winning path.
Mainz and Hamburg both hit the woodwork and a Hamburg goal was disallowed before Paolo Guerrero gave Hamburg the winner in the 89th minute. Mainz missed a chance for their eighth straight win to start the season, which would have eclipsed Bayern's 1995/96 mark and Kaiserslautern's 2001/02 streak.
"We played a little wild and lost some easy balls in attack, giving them some chances on the counter attack. But the break showed that we were missing a little bit of our collective game,' said Mainz coach Thomas Tuchel.
"If we had taken our chances then we would have won it but once they got their goal the game was decided. We will calmly analyse the things that did not go well. But we did a lot of good things as well," Tuchel said.
"We kept shooting and it just wouldn't go in. Now we need to forget about this game and look ahead," added Mainz midfielder Lewis Holtby.
The loss leaves Mainz with 21 points in second place behind Borussia Dortmund, who have a 14 to 10 advantage on goal difference.
"The three points (two weekends ago) in Kaiserslautern were really important. And now the confidence is there with this win," said Hamburg's Ze Roberto.
Dortmund had taken the lead last night with a 2-1 victory at Cologne thanks to Nuri Sahin's winner a minute into stoppage time.
The victory - which was in doubt after Lukas Podolski equalised in the 82nd minute Jakub Blaszczykowski's score after 20 minutes - was Dortmund's seventh straight for 21 points.
"It is amazing how aggressive the guys push forward looking for goals. It's kind of scary from the sidelines," said Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp.
In Munich, Gomez was one of the few healthy Bayern Munich players available and he used his chance by scoring the opening goal in the 21st minute - his first in the Bundesliga in 13 matches since February. Gomez doubled his tally in the 77th minute and made it a hat-trick in the 90th minute as Bayern beat Hanover 3-0 to snap a two-game losing streak for 11 points and ninth place.
Bayern coach Louis van Gaal came into the game with serious personnel concerns with injuries to captain Mark van Bommel, Franck Ribery, Miroslav Klose, Ivica Olic and Daniel van Buyten while Bastian Schweinsteiger started the game on the bench.
At the bottom of the table, Schalke 04 drew 2-2 at home against VfB Stuttgart - a result which does not help either club move up the standings. Schalke have five points for 16th and Stuttgart are dead last with four points.
Werder Bremen beat Freiburg 2-1 at home while St. Pauli out-scored Nuremberg 3-2.
In today's late game, Simon Rolfes scored two of Bayer Leverkusen's three goals within 11 minutes to turn a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 victory at VfL Wolfsburg.
Rolfes, who was subbed in after 69 minutes, struck in the 72nd and 83rd minutes to help push Bayer Leverkusen to third place with 15 points while Wolfsburg are 11th with 11 points.
Tomorrow, Kaiserslautern welcome Eintracht Frankfurt and Borussia Moenchengladbach travel to Hoffenheim.