Bayern Munich extended their winning streak in the German Bundesliga to 18 games but the title party remained on hold after a 2-0 triumph at Mainz. After suffering for an hour, Bayern emerged from their shells to show why no German side has managed to beat them in 51 attempts.
Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mario Gotze sealed victory with goals inside the final ten minutes, but with Borussia Dortmund winning against Hannover and Schalke beating Eintracht Braunschweig, it means Bayern will have to wait just a few days longer before being officially crowned Bundesliga champions again.
Dortmund plunged Hannover into relegation danger with a 3-0 win at the Niedersachsenstadion. Goals from Mats Hummels, Robert Lewandowski and Marco Reus earned Jurgen Klopp's side all three points to keep Dortmund in second place, albeit with 23 points separating them from Bayern and eight rounds of games to go. Hannover still have some way to go before securing their top-flight status, with only six points keeping them out of the bottom two.
Schalke bounced back from Tuesday's UEFA Champions League exit at the hands of Real Madrid with a 3-1 win over Braunschweig. Leon Goretzka got the ball rolling after 17 minutes before Klaas Jan Huntelaar converted a superb free-kick on 66 minutes to make it 2-0.
Braunschweig pulled one back through Omar Elabdellaoui's deflected strike on 81 minutes but it was not enough to deny Schalke, who wrapped up the win with a stoppage-time third from Adam Szalai.
European hopefuls Wolfsburg and Augsburg shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw at the Volkswagen Arena. Tobias Werner put the visitors in front with three minutes remaining in the first half, but Ivica Olic equalised for Wolfsburg late in the match.
Alexandru Maxim came off the bench to hit the only goal as Stuttgart claimed a 1-0 win over ten-man Hamburg in their crunch relegation clash.
Hakan Calhanoglu was dismissed in the 53rd minute for his second bookable offence and Maxim's goal 16 minutes later handed Stuttgart their first win in ten Bundesliga games, which saw them leapfrog their opponents and move out of the drop zone.
Monchengladbach edge closer to Bayer
Borussia Monchengladbach moved up to fifth in the table, just two points adrift of fourth-placed Bayer Leverkusen, thanks to a 3-0 victory over Hertha Berlin.
Juan Arango put the Foals in front in the 28th minute before sending in the ball which Adrian Ramos put into his own net to double their lead. Raffael then added a third as Lucien Favre's side overpowered Berlin, probably ending any lingering hopes they had of playing in Europe next season.