Bayern Munich claimed three points at Hoffenheim on Sunday, but it was a much tougher contest than expected for the runaway Bundesliga leaders as the club secured a 1-0 win courtesy of a Mario Gomez goal.
Bayern is now at the point where the club is coasting toward the league title, and Sunday's win is the club's seventh in succession and restores their 17- point advantage at the top of the league.
Hoffenheim put up a brave fight, but in the end the home side sustained its fourth straight defeat and sits five points from a berth in the relegation playoff spot.
Bayern took a bit to get going, but the lone goal came after 38 minutes when Jerome Boateng's cross was nodded down by Franck Ribery for Gomez, who scored with his first real chance of the match.
Tom Starke was making his Bundesliga debut for Bayern in place of Manuel Neuer, who was rested for the affair, and he had to do very little to earn a clean sheet.
Bayern was in total control, and Bastian Schweinsteiger struck the post from a free kick with 15 minutes to play, while late chances went unfinished for Ribery, David Alaba, Thomas Muller and Mario Mandzukic.
Dusseldorf 1, Mainz 1
Dusseldorf, Germany - Mainz did little to improve its prospects for a European place on Sunday as the club was held to its fourth successive draw, a 1-1 deadlock at Dusseldorf.
The home side was handed the lead after six minutes when a corner kick was redirected into his own goal by Mainz defender Bo Svensson.
Dusseldorf nearly stretched its lead in the 28th minute when Axel Bellinghausen struck the post, but Mainz answered back shortly before halftime when Ivan Klasnic scored his first Bundesliga goal of the season from close range.