Bayern fail to shine again as they are held at home by leaders Dortmund.
Defending champions Bayern Munich were held 1-1 at home by German league leaders and arch rivals Borussia Dortmund on Saturday in the pick of the weekend's matches.
It was a disaster for Bayern, such is the pressure on the European Champions League winners, as they dropped a place to sixth, nine points behind Dortmund, and therefore have it all to do to win an unprecedented fourth consecutive Bundesliga crown.
Dortmund were close to an away victory when their record signing Marcio Amoroso found the net for Dortmund in the 78th minute but, thankfully for the Bavarians, Brazilian striker Giovane Elber equalized three minutes later.
Amoroso is top of the German goalscoring charts with 12 following his goal, one ahead of Bayer Leverkusen's star midfielder Michael Ballack who scored in a 5-0 thrashing of Borussia Monchengladbach to cut their deficit in second place from four to two points.
Ballack, who has hit top form in the Bundesliga and for the German national team his season, set the tone for the fixture with a goal in the ninth minute.
Further strikes by Oliver Neuville, Bernd Schneider, Carsten Ramelow and Dimitar Berbatow completed the rout for Leverkusen who were also well served by Brazilian Ze Roberto.
Kaiserslautern remained in third spot despite losing 1-0 at northern port club Werder Bremen, who swapped places with Bayern to jump a place to fifth.
Brazilian striker Ailton found the net in the 51st minute to separate the two sides with Krisztian Lisztes of Hungary and Holger Wehlage in particular good form for the home side.
Schalke 04 handed out a 4-0 thrashing to St Pauli, who were 2-1 winners over Bayern on Wednesday, to remain in fourth spot.
Their Danish marksman Ebbe Sand got the ball rolling with a goal after just nine minutes, former German international Andreas Moller hit a second, before penalties by Jorg Bohme and goalkeeper Oliver Reck completed the scoring.
The weekend plaudits belong to Dortmund however with their 12th successive unbeaten match which has the signs pointing to their first Bundesliga triumph since 1996 which resulted in a Champions League trophy the next season.
Ironically, Dortmund were then led by current Bayern coach Ottmar Hitzfeld.
In the Munich Olympic stadium, in front of 58,000 spectators, Matthias Sammer's team took command from the start and only a good display by Bayern keeper Oliver Kahn keep the match goalless at the break.
The match saw the return from injury of French World Cup winning defender Bixente Lizarazu, though he earned a yellow card after just four minutes.
The match finally came to life with a superb goal by substitute Amoroso from a freekick though the ball hit the left hand upright before finding the net.
Bayern's blushes were saved when an initially innocuous looking ball into the box by Mehmet Scholl was headed home by Elber thanks to the poor positioning of Dortmund keeper Jens Lehmann, too far out of goal.
Hitzfeld had no illusions about the task Bayern now face to reignite their challenge.
"Dortmund deserved their victory. We had problems getting into the match and now we have to string together some really good results to get back into the title race," Hitzfeld said. /p
Sammer said they were thinking of victory after their goal but added in the end the score was a fair reflection of the match.
He will surely have noted Dortmund's next fixture which will really test their title credentials - the Ruhr derby against form team Schalke.