Two goals apiece from Kevin Kuranyi and Halil Altintop gave Schalke 04 a comfortable 4-0 win over bottom club Mainz on Saturday to pull level on points at the top of the German Bundesliga.
Schalke move second on goal difference behind Werder Bremen who slipped to a 3-1 home defeat to Borussia Dortmund on Friday.
Meanwhile champions Bayern Munich hit two late goals to end a poor run of four away games with only one point by defeating Bayer Leverkusen 3-2 to move up to fourth in the table.
Kuranyi and Altintop shared Schalke's spoils against hapless Mainz who have now gone 11 games without a win.
Kuranyi struck on the break in the 13th minute and headed a second in the 32nd, while Altintop was on target in the 22nd minute and with a clever chip for his second with just over 20 minutes remaining.
Kuranyi, who had come under criticism this season after scoring just twice, ran to celebrate his first goal on the touchline with coach Mirko Slomka who has not always picked the striker this season.
Slomka said the victory following last week's 2-0 win at Moenchengladbach showed that the team was improving after an unsettled start to the season in which the coach's job also appeared to be under threat.
"We were aggressive in the tackle and played with pace going forward," Slomka said after the biggest win for his team since he took over in January.
Bayern, who had slipped to a home defeat to Hanover in midweek, were meanwhile rewarded for a bright first-half display in Leverkusen when Hasan Salihamidzic rifled in a 33rd-minute goal from the edge of the area.
Leverkusen equalized when second-half substitute Stefan Kiessling struck three minutes after the break. Oliver Kahn could only parry a long shot from Tranquillo Barnetta and Kiessling mopped up for his first goal for the club since joining in the summer from Nuremberg.
Another substitute, the Brazilian Athirson, put Leverkusen ahead in the 80th minute only for Martin Demichelis to head an equalizer for Bayern three minutes later and Claudio Pizarro to smash home the winner with four minutes remaining.
Bayern coach Felix Magath said: "We were under pressure after losing with a poor display against Hanover and we had to win back that confidence."
"In the first half we dominated the game but Leverksuen showed that they are also a good side. I think in the end our class showed and were were able to come away with a victory," he said.
Hertha Berlin lost ground by drawing 3-3 at home to lowly Bochum who failed to protect a 3-1 lead.
Serbia striker Marko Pantalic put Hertha ahead in the ninth minute with a brilliant chip from 20m for his eighth goal of the season.
But Bochum turned the game round with a good spell before the break. Greek striker Theofanis Gekas headed a 39th minute equalizer from a corner and Bosnian midfielder Zujezdan Misimovic struck in stoppage time and again with a direct free-kick two minutes after the break.
Berlin pulled one back with a header from Dutch defender Dick van Burik in the 58th minute and Andreas Neuendorf hit the equalizer 10 minutes from time. Bochum finished with 10 men after defender David Pallas was shown a second yellow card three minutes from time.
Arminia Bielefeld leapfrogged Hertha by downing Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0 away to set a new club record of seven games without defeat.