Matchday 19 ended with a tasty southern derby as Stuttgart hosted table-toppers FC Bayern, but Mario
Stuttgart gave a good account of themselves in the first half, as Christian Gentner (r.) & Co.
Their resistance was broken shortly after the restart, however, as Mandzukic capitalised on an errant
Not long afterwards it was 2-0 and game, set and match for Stuttgart. Thomas Müller had been denied a goal by an
Stuttgart were unable to turn the game and it was a comfortable win for the Reds, who march to an 11-point lead at the top of the table
There was no love lost in the 98th Northern derby between Hamburger SV and Werder Bremen, with both sides keen to put recent disappointments behind them in the battle for No1 status in the North
Assani Lukimya (2nd l.), making his first start since Matchday 12, opened the scoring for the visitors with a deft backwards header
It was the towering centre-back's (r.) first-ever shot on goal in the Bundesliga and his reaction to scoring said it all
However, Bremen's joy was short lived as Heung Min Son's sensational solo effort saw him burst past Gebre Selassie before powering an effort into top corner from a tight angle
Dennis Aogo (r.) put Hamburg in front 27 seconds after the restart before setting up Artjom Rudnevs (l.) for the hosts' third, putting them in control of proceedings
Bremen pulled a goal back through Sokratis, but in the end Mehmet Ekici (pictured) and Co. were left to lick their wounds as Clemens Fritz's late red card left them short-handed and down on their luck
Leverkusen's Lars Bender (r.) shows the strain of an intense encounter against Freiburg in Saturday's evening game
Fallou Diagne (l.) and Co in the Freiburg defence kept close tabs on Bundesliga leading scorer Stefan Kießling (r.), who failed to muster a shot on goal all match
Livewire winger Andre Schürrle (r.) also had difficulty making headway against the south-western outfit,
Eintracht Frankfurt's Japan international Takashi Inui (l.) provided the assist for Martin Lanig (r.)
Hoffenheim equalised through Kevin Volland in the second half, but Canadian international Olivier Occean (l.) and Co hit back to deservedly restore their lead
2-1 it remained, giving Frankfurt their tenth league victory this season as they stayed in touch with the Bundesliga big-hitters at the top end of the table
FC Augsburg continued their good form this year with an aggressive performance at home to Schalke 04.
Atsuto Uchida (r.) had little chance to show off his attacking talents as the Royal Blues were pinned into their own half for long periods
Dutch superstar Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (l.) made his first appearance of 2013 after missing out
Peruvian international Jefferson Farfan sums up the feelings of most Schalke fans on a frustrating afternoon for the visitors.
Norwegian international Mohammed Abdellaoue celebrates his superb goal to put Hannover 96 1-0 up against Wolfsburg in the 3rd minute...
...before strike partner Mame Diouf doubled the hosts' advantage shortly before half-time, bundling the ball over the line after missing at the first attempt
But it was not all smiles for the
Wolfsburg did manage to pull a goal back, but despite their man advantage were unable to
Meanwhile in Mönchengladbach, the hosts earned bragging rights in the Rhein derby with a 2-1 victory over Fortuna Düsseldorf.
One of the few positives for the visitors was a second Bundesliga appearance for new signing Genki Omae,
Adam Szalai (r.) was twice decisive in Mainz 05's 3-0 away win at bottom of the table Greuther Fürth, lifting his goals tally to eleven in the current campaign
Things didn't look so clear before the break, however, when the Clover Leaves held Mainz to a goalless draw
After the break though, Szalai's two strikes as well as a goal by 20-year-old Yunus Malli (l.) helped the 05ers to a well-deserved three points
Borussia Dortmund got Matchday 19 up and running in stylish fashion as they eased their way past
"Scarf day" at the Signal Iduna Park - quite apposite with the thermometer plunging below zero
Out on the pitch, Nuremberg did their best to get to grips with the reigning champions
...but after wasting two golden opportunites just past the quarter-hour mark,
The visitors were far from happy with the decision and, in taking their eye of the ball, they found themselves 2-0 down shortly after...
...as Blaszczykowski (c.) bagged his brace, sweeping Mario Götze's (r.) drilled cross past a helpless Raphael Schäfer in goal
Dortmund took the sting out of the game in the second half, allowing Nuremberg little or no time on the ball
Nuri Sahin stepped out on Dortmund's hallowed turf for the first time since rejoining the club and was greeted with a rausing reception
Dortmund still managed to carve out their chances though, and having missed a hatful, it was Robert Lewandowski (l.)