Bayern Munich went back top of the Bundesliga with just four matches left after second-half goals from Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman secured a nervous 2-0 home win over bottom side Hertha Berlin on Sunday.
Previous leaders Borussia Dortmund had opened the door by being held 1-1 at lowly Bochum on Friday, although the referee acknowledged later that the title chasers should have been awarded a penalty.
Bayern, seeking an 11th straight title and now a point ahead after Joshua Kimmich expertly set up both goals, next visit mid-table Werder Bremen on Saturday while Dortmund welcome Wolfsburg next Sunday.
"It was not easy," Coman told DAZN. "We played pretty well up top and did a lot of running but we didn't create so much. We just have to believe in ourselves."
Hertha have now lost both games under interim coach Pal Dardai, in his third stint in charge, and sit six points adrift of safety with just four games left. They were last relegated in 2012 but bounced straight back up.
Wolfsburg ended Mainz's 10-game unbeaten run with a quickfire start in a 3-0 home win, Jonas Wind scoring twice. They leapfrogged their rivals into seventh, with the duo eyeing a late burst for a Europa League or Conference League spot.
Bayern coach Thomas Tuchel, whose side crashed out of the Champions League and German Cup since he surprisingly replaced Julian Nagelsmann in March, made four changes from the humbling 3-1 loss at Mainz last weekend when they surrendered top spot to Dortmund.
Captain Thomas Müller was dropped to the bench against Hertha along with Josip Stanisic while fellow defenders Alphonso Davies and Dayot Upamecano were injured.
Benjamin Pavard and Noussair Mazraoui came in to the defence, with forwards Coman and Gnabry also included from the start.
Chances were at a premium early on at a sun-kissed but subdued Allianz Arena, with Bayern patient and Hertha industrious.
Coman had a shout for a penalty turned down but the hosts were a bit too passive before a few half chances just before the break.
Leroy Sané was thrown on at half-time for Leon Goretzka but Bayern still struggled to break down Hertha's two banks of four.
Müller's introduction on the hour also made little difference as Bayern's play was still too slow and ponderous to get through.
Then out of the blue on 69 minutes, a clever clipped ball over the top from Kimmich was superbly headed home by Germany's Gnabry for his 10th goal of the league season.
The crowd reacted more with relief than delight but made more noise 10 minutes later when France's Coman nutmegged goalkeeper Oliver Christensen after yet another superb ball by Kimmich.
Dardai said: "For the first 60 minutes we defended really well. It was looking like there was a chance we could come away with a point. Next week we go on the attack against Stuttgart."
On Saturday, Union Berlin drew with Bayer Leverkusen and Freiburg won at Cologne to both stay in the third and fourth Champions League spots respectively. Second-bottom Schalke beat Bremen to fuel their hopes of avoiding the drop and VfB Stuttgart put Bochum in the relegation play-off spot after defeating Eintracht Frankfurt.