Hannover leapt four places to fifth thanks to victory over Borussia Monchengladbach, while Hoffenheim and Schalke shared the spoils.
Last Updated: 01/04/12 8:49pm
Hannover leapt four places to fifth in the Bundesliga thanks to a 2-1 win over Borussia Monchengladbach while Hoffenheim and Schalke shared two penalties in a 1-1 draw.
Didier Ya Konan and Mame Diouf scored the goals for Mirko Slomka's men as Hannover overcame Borussia Monchengladbach at the Niedersachsenstadion.
Havard Nordtveit set up a grandstand finish between the two sides who end the weekend just one position, but 10 points apart in the table.
Marco Reus was pulling all of the strings for Gladbach while Ya Konan and Diouf showed signs of their excellent recent form with the only thing lacking in the first half being a goal.
Ya Konan remedied that in the 57th minute when Konstantin Rausch's shot turned into an assist for the Ivory Coast striker, who slid in to thread the ball through the legs of Marc-Andre ter Stegen at full stretch.
Jan Schlaudraff set up the second goal with a cross whipped in from the right which Diouf only needed to flick with his head into the far corner.
Gladbach responded just a few minutes later with Nordtveit allowed to advance with the ball at his feet and evade one desperate lunge before shooting low into the bottom left-hand corner of the goal from the edge of the penalty area.
Gladbach have now not won in three games and risk falling further behind in the chase for a place in the group stages of the Champions League next season.
Hannover, meanwhile, are now just four weeks short of going a full year unbeaten at home in the Bundesliga and they will head into Thursday's Europa League quarter-final second-leg tie with Atletico Madrid in confident mood.
Hoffenheim and Schalke shared the spoils at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena.
The home side took a deserved lead after half-an-hour when Schalke goalkeeper Lars Unnerstall fouled Sven Schipplock inside the penalty area and Sejad Salihovic dispatched the spot-kick.
Schalke had saved all their energy for the second half, it seemed, as they came out fighting.
Jefferson Farfan almost levelled in the 57th minute, but an instinctive save from Tom Starke kept his shot out at the far post.
From the resulting corner, Jermaine Jones' header was cleared off the line by Fabian Johnson as Schalke increased the pressure.
They were rewarded in the 80th minute when Chinedu Obasi cut into the penalty area and went to ground rather easily as Andreas Beck reached out his arm to block his path.
The referee awarded the second penalty of the game and Klaas Jan Huntelaar, who had struck the crossbar with a header moments earlier, made no mistake from the spot to move level with Bayern Munich's Mario Gomez at the top of the Bundesliga goalscoring charts on 23.
Schalke kept up the pressure but were unable to find a winner although the point gives Huub Stevens' side a three-point advantage over Borussia Monchengladbach in the race for third spot and an automatic berth in the Champions League next season.
They will now turn their attentions to overturning a 4-2 deficit against Athletic Bilbao in Spain on Thursday.