Werder Bremen and Hoffenheim played out a 1-1 draw in their relegation six-pointer at the Weserstadion as Julian Nagelsmann’s first match in charge ended level.
Nagelsmann was appointed Hoffenheim boss on Thursday following health troubles for predecessor Huub Stevens and is the youngest head coach in Bundesliga history at 28-years-old.
But the former Under-19s coach, who was due to take over at the end of the season, made an ideal start to senior management when on-loan striker Andrej Kramaric opened his Hoffenheim account 10 minutes in.
Chelsea loanee Papy Djilobodji levelled matters just three minutes later, with Kramaric’s late dismissal unable to tip the scales in Bremen’s direction.
The two sides remain clear of rock-bottom Hannover – beaten 1-0 by Borussia Dortmund courtesy of a Henrikh Mkhitaryan effort – while Eintracht Frankfurt sit just a point clear of danger after a 3-1 defeat to Cologne.
Alexander Meier got Frankfurt off to a strong start 24 minutes into coach Armin Veh’s 300th Bundesliga outing but Yannick Gerhardt equalised soon after before Dominique Heintz and Anthony Modeste sealed the points after the break.
Hertha Berlin’s stuttering recent form continued as their winless Bundesliga run was extended to four matches courtesy of a 2-0 defeat at Stuttgart.
Second-half goals from Serey Die and Filip Kostic were enough for the hosts at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, with Bayer Leverkusen moving up to third thanks to their 2-1 victory at Darmstadt.
Missing leading goalscorer Javier Hernandez due to injury, Leverkusen fell behind to Sandro Wagner’s 28th-minute opener.
However, an Aytac Sulu own goal followed by Julian Brandt’s winner put Roger Schmidt’s men in pole position for the final automatic Champions League spot.
Goals from Julian Draxler and Robin Knoche earned Wolfsburg a 2-0 win over Ingolstadt – their first Bundesliga win since November and an ideal warm-up for the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie against Gent on Wednesday.