Borussia Dortmund underlined their Bundesliga title credentials after beating defending champions Bayern Munich 3-1 on Saturday.
The result all but ends Bayern’s title challenge this season, with Louis van Gaal’s side now 16 points adrift of league leaders Dortmund, who showed why they have been the team to beat all season with an entertaining win at the Allianz Arena.
Bayern would have been hoping to capitalise with rookie keeper Mitchell Langerak making his first start in goals for Dortmund, but it was the visitors who drew first blood when Lucas Barrios opened the scoring after just eight minutes.
Both sides were creating a plethora of chances, and it was no surprise when Bayern levelled through Luiz Gustavo seven minutes later.
But Dortmund were back in front almost instantly after Nuri Sahin placed a curling shot past the outstretched hands of Bayern goalkeeper Thomas Kraft, before Mats Hummels’ goal on the hour mark sealed a telling victory for Juergen Klopp’s side.
Hannover and Mainz kept the pressure on the Bundesliga leaders with both sides recording hard-fought away wins.
Hannover had an 89th minute header from defender Christian Schulz to thank for their 1-0 victory over St Pauli, a result that lifts them into third place on the table ahead of Bayern Munich.
Meanwhile, a 2-1 win over Hoffenheim ensures Mainz remain in fifth spot on the table.
Mainz took the lead through Andreas Ivanschitz at Rhein-Neckar-Arena, but the hosts looked to have salvaged a share of the spoils when David Alaba equalised seven minutes from time.
Enter Elkin Soto, and the Colombian midfielder secured all three points for Mainz just two minutes later when he found himself on the end of a Marcel Risse cross to fire home the winner.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Cologne moved five points clear of the relegation zone with a surprise 1-0 win over Freiburg thanks to a Lukas Podolski goal.
Relegation battlers Kaiserslautern claimed a valuable point at home with a 1-1 draw against Hamburg, while Schalke and Nuremberg also drew 1-1 when Raul cancelled out Jens Hegeler’s opener for the visitors.