Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang netted twice on Sunday as second-placed Borussia Dortmund dropped captain Mats Hummels and returned to winning ways with a 4-1 win at home to VfB Stuttgart.
Gabon striker Aubameyang cemented his status as the Bundesliga's top scorer with his 16th and 17th league goals in 14 games this season after Gonzalo Castro had headed Borussia into an early lead.
Daniel Didavi pulled a goal back for strugglers Stuttgart with half-time approaching.
But a Georg Niedermeier own-goal left the visitors 3-1 down before Aubameyang grabbed their superb fourth goal and his second to inflict a third straight defeat on Stuttgart.
Hummels dominated the pre-match talk, because, despite his status as a World Cup winner with Germany, he found himself on the bench at Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park in the wake of poor performances.
He scored an own goal in Dortmund's shock 3-1 defeat at Hamburg ten days ago in the Bundesliga, then conceded the penalty which sealed their 1-0 defeat on Thursday at Russia's FK Krasnodar in the Europa League group stages.
The 26-year-old came on for the final 10 minutes against Stuttgart for Germany winger Marco Reus with Dortmund 3-1 up.
Stuttgart's caretaker coach Jurgen Kramny got off to a losing start after replacing Alexander Zorniger in the wake of last weekend's 4-0 thumping at home to Augsburg and the defeat kept his side third from bottom.
Dortmund trimmed Bayern Munich's lead to eight points after the runaway league leaders ground out a 2-0 win at home to Hertha Berlin thanks to goals by Germany forward Thomas Mueller and France Under-21 winger Kingsley Coman on Saturday.
The other Bundesliga games saw last season’s runners-up Wolfsburg play out a 0-0 stalemate against Augsburg and Bayer Leverkusen held to a 1-1 draw by Schalke.