Hamburg were held 1-1 at VfL Bochum on Sunday to miss out on fourth in the Bundesliga while Bayern Munich went second in the table over the weekend to set up a key clash with league leaders Hoffenheim on Friday.
A goal from Bochum's Slovakia striker Stanislav Sestak in the 39th minute shocked Martin Jol-coached Hamburg before the guests were rescued by striker Ivica Olic who slotted home 20 minutes from time.
The draw keeps the north German club fifth in the table while Bochum are three from bottom, but they just missed out on a deserved win when Sestak hit the post in the last ten minutes which denied him a second.
Ex-Germany defender Markus Babbel enjoyed a winning start to his tenure as Stuttgart coach when as his side picked up their first win in six games with a 2-0 win over Schalke to leave his side 10th in the table.
Former Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann saved a 16th minute penalty from Schalke's Peru striker Jefferson Farfan to keep the scores level with his side badly in need of league points.
With time running out Czech Republic midfielder Jan Simak lobbed Schalke goalkeeper Manuel Neuer 11 minutes from time to put Stuttgart ahead before Germany striker Mario Gomez made the result safe with a strike on 83 minutes.
It gives Babbel a confidence-boosting win having succeeded Armin Veh as head coach last weekend.
Borussia Dortmund and Wolfsburg also battled away to a 0-0 draw.
On Saturday, surprise package Hoffenheim stayed top after a 3-0 home win over Arminia Bielefeld but Bayern Munich remain in hot pursuit with a 2-0 win at Bayer Leverkusen.
Bayern will draw level on points with Hoffenheim at the top of the table if they beat the leaders at Munich's Allianz Arena on Friday.
League top scorer Vedad Ibisevic, with the Bosnian's 17th of the season, and Carlos Eduardo scored inside the opening 11 minutes before Francisco Copado netted a last-minute spotkick to make it 11 league wins and 34 points from 15 games for Hoffenheim.
Bayern are now second, three points adrift, after Luca Toni, with a header, and Miroslav Klose scored after the break to move them above a Bayer Leverkusen side who had stood third at start of play.
Third are Hertha Berlin, a point behind Bayern after the Berliners beat Cologne 2-1 on Friday.
Chelsea misfit Claudio Pizarro managed the individual exploit of the day with a hat-trick as his Werder Bremen thrashed Eintracht Frankfurt 5-0 on the River Weser.
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