Leon Goretzka scored a late winner as Bayern Munich restored their seven-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga with a 2-1 victory over Borussia Monchengladbach.
Without the suspended Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller, Bayern were well below par but were gifted the opener shortly after the visitors had been denied by a VAR decision.
Joshua Zirkzee broke the deadlock in the 26th minute as Gladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer’s ill-advised pass went straight to the feet of Lewandowski’s replacement.
Benjamin Pavard’s own goal 11 minutes later levelled matters, but Goretzka caught the Gladbach defence napping four minutes from time to extinguish any realistic prospect of a late turnaround in the title race.
Victory on Tuesday for Bayern at Werder Bremen would clinch an eighth successive Bundesliga championship, with Borussia Dortmund surely now playing just for second place.
With Alassane Plea suspended, Gladbach were dealt another blow to their attack early on when Marcus Thuram was forced off with an ankle injury.
Breel Embolo, who had only been deemed fit enough for the bench, came on in his place and delivered the key pass for what looked to be the opening goal.
Jonas Hofmann tucked the throughball into the bottom-left corner, only for VAR to rule he had strayed marginally offside.
The visitors were then grateful to Sommer for preserving parity as he brilliantly denied Lucas Hernandez from point-blank range after Matthias Ginter had inadvertently laid the ball on a plate for the Bayern left-back.
However, after Embolo was thwarted by Manuel Neuer and somehow shot wide on the rebound, Sommer turned from hero to villain.
Zirkzee’s fourth goal of the season could hardly have been simpler as he stroked Sommer’s off-balance cross-field ball into the empty net.
Bayern continued to look vulnerable at the back, though, and Gladbach’s deserved leveller came in a similarly fortuitous fashion when Pavard could only divert Patrick Herrmann’s searching right-wing cross into the bottom-right corner.
Neuer had to be at his best to deny Herrmann after a quick break from Embolo, but the introductions of Alphonso Davies and Kingsley Coman sparked Bayern into life, with Sommer getting down low to his right to turn Serge Gnabry’s volley behind.
Gladbach had looked comfortable as they attempted to see out the stalemate before Goretzka stole in to slot home Pavard’s low cross from the right and put Bayern, with three rounds of games remaining, on the cusp of the title.