Bayern Munich went three points clear at the top of the German league on Sunday after coming from behind as Germany star Mario Gomez struck twice in the 2-1 win at 10-man VfB Stuttgart.
After both defending champions Borussia Dortmund and Schalke had earlier drawn level with Bayern at the top, Munich reopened a comfortable lead as Gomez claimed his 14th and 15th league goals of the season.
"We certainly wanted to win, but we didn't play that well, despite having the numerical advantage," said Gomez.
"We have a different ambition, we want to be German champions.
"When we have the numbers and possesion, we have to make the opposition run and we didn't do that."
Stuttgart went ahead after ex-Germany midfielder Christian Gentner came onto a header from Austria striker Martin Harnik at pace and his volley flew past Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer on six minutes.
Bayern drew level seven minutes later when Brazilian right-back Rafinha swung in a cross, which took a slight deflection and Gomez fired home from the tightest of angles.
To compound Stuttgart's misery, the hosts then had defender Cristian Molinaro sent off after just 29 minutes for tackling Bayern's Dutch winger Arjen Robben from behind for the second time, just five minutes after earning his first yellow card.
Bayern took the lead when captain Philipp Lahm's pass found Gomez who rifled home his 15th league goal in as many German league games, to make him the Bundesliga's top scorer on 57 minutes.
Earlier, Japan winger Shinji Kagawa's first-half strike was not enough to give Borussia Dortmund three points as the defending champions were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Kaiserslautern.
The guests drew level when the Dortmund defence allowed midfield Olcay Sahan plenty of space to hit a stunning volley past Dortmund captain Roman Weidenfeller on 60 minutes.
"That one was for my mother, she's a big Dortmund fan," beamed Sahan after his first goal for Kaiserslautern.
"I'm just not sure she will let me in the house now."
The result leaves Dortmund second in the table and level on 34 points with third-placed Schalke, who won 2-1 at Hertha Berlin on Friday.
"Kaiserslautern deserved their luck, they were a constant threat," said Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp.
"We did well to get into a 1-0 lead and created a lot of chances, if Sahan hadn't scored the goal of the month, things would have gone well for us."
On Saturday, Borussia Moenchengladbach missed the chance to go top after a shock defeat 1-0 at strugglers Augsburg while Werder Bremen got back in the title race with a 4-1 win over Wolfsburg.
'Gladbach drop to fourth as Augsburg picked up only their third win of the season as midfielder Jan-Ingwer Callsen-Bracker scored the winner against his former club on 51 minutes.
The Bavarian minnows held on for a valuable win which lifted them up one place up from bottom.
Bremen are fifth after their 4-1 hammering of Wolfsburg with Peru striker Claudio Pizarro netting the hosts' second goal and setting up two more.
Bayer Leverkusen, who have qualified for the knock-out phase of the Champions League, are sixth after they were held to a goalless draw at Hanover 96.
Freiburg replaced Augsburg at the bottom when they were hammered 4-0 at Cologne with Germany striker Lukas Podolski slotting home two second-half goals in the rout.