Borussia Dortmund continued to maintain the pressure on league leaders FC Bayern München on Matchday 23, while bottom club Hannover 96 proved they have plenty left in the tank as they look to stave off relegation.
bundesliga.com looks at the weekend's biggest talking points...
Bayern toast 116th anniversary
FC Bayern München celebrated the day of their 116th anniversary by comfortably beating 2014/15 Vizemeister VfL Wolfsburg 2-0 at the Volkswagen Arena. Franck Ribery was the catalyst for the league leaders' 20th Bundesliga win of the campaign - the French winger with a big hand in Kingsley Coman's fourth Bundesliga goal of the season before laying on the prolific Robert Lewandowski's 23rd. And now for the obligatory note on Lewy: the Poland international is the first player since legendary Bayern striker Gerd Müller (1974/75) to register 23 goals after 23 Bundesliga matches.
Dortmund keep up the pressure
After seeing Bayern rack up yet another league win on Saturday, Borussia Dortmund kept up their end of the bargain to keep the title race as tight as possible by grinding out a hard-earned 3-1 win over TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. Trailing to a Sebastian Rudy goal, Thomas Tuchel’s men made the most of a red card shown to Hoffenheim’s goalscorer to score three times in the final ten minutes to make it five wins and a draw from their last six matches. With qualification for the UEFA Champions League all but secure, BVB are at least matching the men from Bavaria as we enter the business end of the campaign.
Bayer 04 Leverkusen found out to their cost, like VfL Wolfsburg, FC Schalke 04 and Borussia Mönchengladbach before them, that 1. FSV Mainz 05 are a formidable prospect on home soil. Martin Schmidt's men have now won five matches in a six-game unbeaten run at the Coface Arena, a streak that has propelled them into contention for a European qualifying place. With Yunus Malli getting back on the scoresheet with a double strike after eight barren games, the 05ers look like they will be genuine challengers.
Leaders of men
Not for the first time this season, SV Darmstadt 98's Aytac Sulu set a captain's example in Saturday's relegation six-pointer in Bremen. The current Bundesliga campaign's highest scoring defender took his tally to six with what looked for all the world like being the winner at the Weser Stadium, that is until Claudio Pizarro - the Bundesliga's all-time leading foreign scorer - popped up in the 90th minute to level the scores for 2-2. The 37-year-old Peruvian now has 183 goals in 403 Bundesliga appearances to his legendary name.
Kiyotake inspires rare Hannover win
A Hiroshi Kiyotake goal or assist is usual a good omen for Hannover 96 - two wins, one draw and three defeats prior to Matchday 23 - and so it proved at VfB Stuttgart's Mercedes-Benz-Arena. Back in the starting line-up for the first time since breaking a metatarsal in mid-November, the Japan international playmaker showed no signs of any ring rust as he set up Hannover captain Christian Schulz for the equalising goal. Schulz then added an unlikely second - arising from another Kiyotake free kick - to hand bottom-of-the-table Hannover not just their first victory in eight matches, but their first under head coach Thomas Schaaf.