Bayern Munich were out to stretch their lead at the top on Wednesday evening - and Thomas Müller's early penalty strike got them off on the right foot at SC Freiburg
Worse was to come for the hosts not long after that when Fallou Diagne (2.l.) was shown a straight red card for a foul on Xherdan Shaqiri (l.)
To their credit, ten-man Freiburg battled gamely on and the match remained in the balance until Bayern wrapped it up with a late second...
...courtesy of a rare strike from substitute Anatoliy Tymoshchuk (r.)
Bastian Schweinsteiger - one-yellow card away from from a suspension - sat this one out, but will be raring to go against Dortmund on Saturday
Bayer Leverkusen had the opportunity to move up to second place with a win at Werder Bremen - but the hosts were not about to roll over for them, as Andre Schürrle experienced first-hand here against Aleksandar Ignjovski
But Gonzalo Castro (l.) struck, then struck again, to put the visitors on course for victory
Nils Petersen headed the hosts back into it shortly after Castro's second goal...
...but this was to be Bayer's evening, skipper Simon Rolfes (2.r.) and sub Jens Hegeler rounding out an ultimately emphatic victory
Diego (l., against Harvard Nordtveit) and his fellow Wolves were out to maintain their recent upward trajectory at Mönchengladbach
The Foals had other ideas though and after Juan Arango (l.) had put them in front in typically spectacular fashion early on, ...
...Tony Jantschke (2.l.) made it 2-0 just before the break
That was how it finished, the win edging Borussia back into the top half of the table
VfB Stuttgart got off to a flier against FC Augsburg, Ibrahima Traore (3.l.) opening their account in the eleventh minute
The division's bottom club battled back though, Ja-Cheol Koo hauling them level on the stroke of half time
But the last word would be Stuttgart's, Vedad Ibisevic's 69th-minute strike securing them the points
1. FC Nuremberg played host 1899 Hoffenheim in the (extra-) late kick-off and there were thrills, spills and goals aplenty in this one - 1899's Sven Schipplock (m.) cancelling out Sebastian Rudy's early own-goal...
...before strikes by Per Nilsson and Sebastian Polter (l., against Matthieu Delpierre) put the hosts in charge
Hoffenheim pulled one back late on through Sejad Salihovic, but there was still time for Hiroshe Kiyotake (m.) to put the icing on the Nuremberg cake
Jakub Blaszczykowski celebrates his superb opener for Dortmund against Fortuna Düsseldorf
Fortuna keeper Fabian Giefer (top) claims a cross with Robert Lewandowski (2nd l.) and Neven Subotic (3rd r.) lurking
As ever the Signal-Iduna-Park faithful were in vociferous mood, cheering the home team forward throughout
Dortmund defender Subotic rises to win a header against Fortuna's Stefan Reisinger...
...but it was Reisinger (2nd r.) who won the all-important aerial duel twelve minutes from time, rising above Marcel Schmelzer (2nd l.) to head home the equaliser
Schalke's Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (r.) tussles for possession with Germany international Heiko Westermann of Hamburger SV
The Dutch hitman (r.) never shirks a challenge - even when a foot is flailing towards him, like Michael Mancienne's here
Hamburg were shorn of star players Rafael van der Vaart and Heung Min Son but still managed to take the lead through Maximilian Beister (bottom l.)
The former Düsseldorf winger (l.) celebrates his first ever Bundesliga goal as Schalke's Kyriakos Papadopoulos (r.) looks on
Artjoms Rudnevs (l.) doubled the Red Shorts' lead midway through the second half
Huntelaar netted a penalty to reduce the arrears for Schalke, but Royal Blues keeper
Hannover had to show character at home to Fürth after being on the receiving end of a 5-0 thrashing at Bayern on Saturday
The 96ers recovered admirably, though, with Mame Diouf sending them into an early lead against the promoted outfit
Swiss defender Mario Eggimann (front) headed Hannover two up in the second half to wrap up a straightforward victory
High-flying Frankfurt were jolted back to reality by visiting Mainz 05, who inflicted the Eagles with their first home defeat of the season
The 05ers had Shawn Parker (r.) to thank in large part - the young forward set up and scored each of Mainz' two first-half goals
Andreas Ivanschitz (l.) was the beneficiary of Parker's passing to begin, scoring his third of the season to open the scoring
Mainz coach Thomas Tuchel is considered one of the brightest young managers in the German game
Nikolce Noveski (c.) celebrates scoring Mainz's third goal - Adam Szalai's own goal at the other end was Frankfurt's only consolation