Bayer 04 Leverkusen had the chance to reclaim second place in the standings away at bottom club Greuther Fürth
Chances were at a premium in a low-key encounter and when they did come, Leverkusen found Clover Leaves goalkeeper Wolfgang Hesl (3l.) in inspired form
There was just no way through for the Champions League hopefuls as Fürth stood firm to pick up only their fourth point on home soil this season
Borussia Dortmund's Marco Reus (c.) returned to his former haunt for the first time as a Yellow-Black, eager to make up ground on Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich
Borussia stopper Marc-Andre ter Stegen brought Mario Götze down inside the area after half an hour...
and in the absence of Robert Lewandowski, Götze stepped up to fire the champions ahead from the spot...
... but Amin Younes’ (1r.) first Bundesliga goal in the 67th minute earned Gladbach a deserved share of the spoils
The relief was visible among the Schalke players as they won for the first time in five Bundesliga matches.
USA captain Jermaine Jones (l.) was as combative as ever in the midfield as the hosts dominated early on
Star striker Klaas-Jan Hunterlaar (l.) was back in the line-up after missing the last two matches with an eye infection
But the opening goal came from an unlikely source, as Matip (l.) bundled Jones' (r.) header over the line from close range in the 29th minute
Brazil international Michel Bastos (r.) put in another tremendous attacking display on the left wing, going close several times with powerful strikes
Düsseldorf fought back in the second half though, with captain Benedikt Höwedes (l.) showing his frustration
One to remember: on Matchday 23, FC Bayern's Jupp Heynckes became only the second man, after Otto Rehhagel (1,033),
Once the onfield action against Bremen got under way it was Franck Ribery (r.) and Co who, not unsurprisingly, swiftly went on the offensive
Midway through the first half, Arjen Robben (flanked here by Xherdan Shaqiri, l., and Javi Martinez).) marked his first starting appearance of 2013 with the opener...
...to which Martinez (4.r.) added number two only minutes later. And as if the task was not already hard enough,
...when Sebastian Prödl (2.l.) was red-carded for a professional foul on Mario Gomez (3.r.)
Early in the second half, Gomez (r.) got busy, first teeing up an own-goal for Gebre Selassie, then tapping home himself to put Bayern 4-0 up
Kevin De Bruyne (l., against Luis Gustavo) pulled one back for the visitors but it was scant consolation
Mame Diouf's headed opener got Hannover 96 up and running after only seven minutes against Hamburger SV
The visitors were soon level again though, courtesy of this spot-kick from Rafael van der Vaart
Number three of the season for the HSV playmaker, to add to his five assists. After that however...
...it was the hosts very much in the ascendant. Szabolcs Huszti (2nd l.) converted the second penalty
Hannover pressed on and on the stroke of half time Didier Ya Konan (3.l.) gave them a two-goal cushion to take into the break
The Ivorian frontman then put the result beyond reasonable doubt with just over 20 minutes remaining,
VfB Stuttgart played host to 1. FC Nuremberg in what was a hard-fought encounter from the off - here it's VfB striker Vedad Ibisevic (l.) tussling with Timmy Simons
Ibrahima Traore (m.) latched onto the rebound following a fierce drive by Martin Harnik (r.) to open Stuttgart's account early in the second half...
...but Markus Feulner (front), tussling here with Christian Gentner, got Nuremberg back on level terms with just under quarter of an hour to go - and 1-1 it finished
Weather conditions notwithstanding, 1. FSV Mainz had a warm reception in store for Diego (m.) and his fellow Wolves
Recent signing Niki Zimling put the home side in front early on - this was the Danish midfielder's frst-ever attempt on goal in the Bundesliga!
Wolfsburg soon hauled themselves level though and, not for the first time, it was Naldo (2.l.)
And the scorer promptly acknowledged the provider of the assist, Jan Polak (l.)
Polak (r.) still had a heavy shift ahead of him, keeping tabs on Mainz top scorer Adam Szalai (l.) among others.
Grounds for celebration: and Dong-Won Ji was doing just that with South Korean compatriot Ja-Cheol Koo
Sascha Mölders then put the Bavarian Swabians two to the good with just over ten minutes to go...
...and even though Igor de Camargo's added-time strike made for a tense finale, improving Augsburg hung on for a much-needed win
Matchday 23 got under way with fifth-place SC Freiburg welcoming fourth-place Eintracht Frankfurt to the MAGE Solar Stadium on Friday night
The Eagles were looking lively in the early stages as Stefan Aigner twice went close to breaking the deadlock
Eintracht's Karim Matmour - a former Freiburg player - was earning his corn on a rare start in the absence of suspended midfielder Takashi Inui
Alex Meier (3l.) threatened only in fits and starts, before Freiburg's Jan Rosenthal (c.) sprang to life
Substitute Olivier Occean endured a quiet evening as Freiburg grew into the contest and almost stole the points late on through substitute Johannes Flum