Bayer 04 Leverkusen moved level on points with third-placed FC Schalke 04 after a strong first-half showing drove them to a 2-1 victory at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.
Lars Bender drilled in Simon Rolfes' flick-on after 15 minutes, before Daniel Carvajal doubled Leverkusen's lead before the break. Fabian Johnson pulled one back for Hoffenheim after the interval, but the Werkself held on to record an eighth win in nine against the hosts.
SC Freiburg limbed up to sixth in the table after winning the Baden-Wurttemberg derby 3-0 against neighbours VfB Stuttgart. Jan Rosenthal scored before the break, and Pavel Krmaš swept in a loose clearance from goalkeeper Sven Ulreich before Max Kruse rounded off the win to leave Stuttgart 12th.
Also on Sunday, FC Augsburg were prevented from rising off the foot of the table as Patrick Herrmann struck five minutes from time to secure a point for VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach. Sascha Mölders' header had put the league's bottom side ahead after five minutes as they nonetheless ended a run of four consecutive league reverses.
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