Hamburg came from behind for a 3-1 win over ten-man Hanover 96 to climb to 11th in the Bundesliga on Sunday without injured Dutch star Rafael van der Vaart.
Hamburg's 30-year-old captain and playmaker van der Vaart has been ruled out for up to four weeks after tearing ankle ligaments in the Netherlands' goalless draw with Colombia in Amsterdam last week.
But Bert van Marwijk's Hamburg brushed off the loss of their skipper to claim their first home win in six attempts.
"It was a hard-fought victory for us with both teams under pressure. Hanover are going through a difficult time while we needed to finally win at home," said Van Marwijk.
"We haven't improved much, but we are better organised and we gave fewer balls away."
Hanover's Hungary midfielder Szabolcs Huszti put his side ahead when he hit the top left corner from 16 metres with 28 minutes gone.
But the hosts responded with Croatia's Milan Badelj equalising three minutes later before right-wing Maximilian Beister slipped his marker just a minute into the second-half to head home.
Beister then turned provider as he found 19-year-old Turkey midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu in space and the attacking midfielder fired home for the third six minutes from time.
Hanover's Senegal defender Salif Sane was sent off in the dying stages for a second yellow card to compound the guests' misery.
It was Hanover's eighth match without a win, their sixth straight away defeat, and saw Mirko Slomka's side drop to 13th in the league.
Werder Bremen slumped to 12th and their third defeat in four games, as they went down 3-2, despite a late fight back, at home to seventh-placed Mainz 05, for whom Japan's Shinji Okazaki scored twice.
On Saturday, Bayern Munich's Germany star Mario Goetze came off the bench to score the opening goal in the European champions' comprehensive 3-0 win at his ex-club Borussia Dortmund.
Goetze, who joined Bayern for 37 million euros (US$50m) in July after 12 years at Dortmund, gave the perfect reply to the chorus of boos he received on his return to Borussia's Westfalenstadion.
The 21-year-old smashed home a Thomas Mueller pass on 66 minutes, before the floodgates opened and Arjen Robben and Mueller added late goals in the final five minutes.
Bayern capped a commanding performance by beating Dortmund for the first time in seven Bundesliga attempts, dating back to February 2010. It was Munich's first win in Dortmund since September 2009.
"We're happy, we won against the best counter-attacking team in the world," said Bayern coach Pep Guardiola.
Again, Munich ran out winners in a replay of May's Champions League final as Dortmund had been forced to patch together their entire back four after a spate of injuries.
But there can be no excuses as Bayern extended their record unbeaten run in the Bundesliga to 38 matches and opened a seven-point lead over Dortmund, who drop to third.
Bayer Leverkusen warmed up for Wednesday's Champions League clash at home to Manchester United by going second with a 1-0 win at Hertha Berlin.
The win came at a cost as Germany winger Sidney Sam was ruled out of the United clash after tearing a thigh muscle four minutes into the game.
Sixth-placed Schalke, who are away to Steaua Bucharest in the Champions League on Tuesday and are second in Group E behind Chelsea, drew 3-3 at Eintracht Frankfurt.
They raced into a 2-0 lead after only 18 minutes but leaked three goals in 12 disastrous second-half minutes.
Germany defender Benedikt Hoewedes saved Schalke's blushes when he hit the top-right hand corner to equalise with just four minutes left.
Wolfsburg's four-match winning streak, which has seen them climb to fifth in the league, was ended when they were held to a 1-1 draw at second-from-bottom Nuremberg.
Freiburg stay in the relegation places despite their 1-0 win at bottom side Eintracht Braunschweig, while Augsburg are up to tenth after their 2-0 win at Hoffenheim.
On Friday, Borussia Moenchengladbach stayed fourth with a 2-0 win at VfB Stuttgart, their fourth straight win, with goals by Brazil's Raffael and Sweden's Oscar Wendt.