Leaders Bayern Munich had to work hard to extend their long unbeaten Bundesliga run with a 4-1 win over Mainz on Saturday.
After a goalless first half, Mario Gotze provided assists for Arjen Robben and Mario Mandzukic, while Thomas Muller netted twice to leave Bayern just two games away from equalling the Bundesliga's longest unbeaten run of 36 games, held by Hamburg.
The four goals came after Shawn Parker had given Mainz an unexpected lead on the stroke of half-time.
The victory keeps Pep Guardiola's side one point ahead of closest rivals Borussia Dortmund, who picked up a narrow 1-0 home victory over Hannover.
Marco Reus put Jurgen Klopp's men ahead from the penalty spot in the fourth minute after full-back Erik Durm was felled by Hiroki Sakai, while an excellent goalkeeping display from Ron-Robert Zieler kept them at bay for the remainder of the match.
Elsewhere, Adrian Ramos scored the only goal as Hertha Berlin maintained their bid to keep pace with the top three in a 1-0 triumph over 10-man Borussia Monchengladbach.
The visitors' cause was not helped when they had Martin Stranzl dismissed for a second bookable offence.
Meanwhile, Schalke recovered from being behind twice to record a 3-2 win at Eintracht Braunschweig, with Roman Neustadter netting in injury time to seal all three points.
Swiss international Josip Drmic scored a late equaliser for Nuremberg to deny Eintracht Frankfurt maximum points in a 1-1 draw at the Commerzbank-Arena, while Werder Bremen failed to take advantage of their lowly opponents as they drew 0-0 with struggling Freiburg.
|25||T. Müller||52' 82'|
for Dante 43'
for Rafinha 46'
for M. Mandžukić 74'
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