Berlin, Feb 5: Hamburger SV denied Bayern Munich the chance to reclaim the Bundesliga lead by holding the visitors to 1-1 on Saturday, when Borussia Dortmund's title rivals all dropped points.
Jacopo Sala fired Hamburg ahead in the 23rd minute, when Jose Paolo Guerrero spotted the unmarked Italian and crossed for him to volley in off the post.
Ivica Olic equalized in the 71st — seven minutes after going on as a substitute — when the ball fell kindly for the Croatia striker after a goalmouth scramble.
"A point's better than nothing," Olic said. "But it's not enough. We have to work even harder to go back to where we were."
The draw left Bayern two points behind league leader Dortmund, ahead of third-place Schalke on goal difference, with Borussia Moenchengladbach a point further back.
"The demands on Bayern are somewhat bigger, somewhat more extreme," Munich coach Jupp Heynckes said. "That's why we can't be happy. We had to win here."
Bayern had a goal ruled out in the 14th for an apparent Mario Gomez foul on Heiko Westermann, when the Bayern striker was adjudged to have pushed the Hamburg captain. TV replays showed, however, that contact was minimal.
Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben both tested Jaroslav Drobny in first half, and Thomas Mueller brought an outstanding fingertip save from the Hamburg 'keeper in the 70th.
Olic scored from the resultant corner.
In Gelsenkirchen, Mohamed Zidan gave Mainz the lead in the 15th minute before Schalke winter signing Chinedu Obasi pulled one back in the 59th.
"It was a bit of damp squib for us because we really wanted to win," Schalke captain Benedikt Hoewedes said.
A sixth win in a row would have equaled a club record.
Martin Harnik scored an 89th-minute equalizer for Stuttgart to end its four-game losing steak in a 2-2 draw at Leverkusen, where both sides had a player sent off.
Elsewhere, Wolfsburg and Borussia Moenchengladbach drew 0-0, Augsburg drew 2-2 at Hoffenheim, and Hannover won 1-0 at Hertha Berlin, which also had a player sent off.
Defending champion Dortmund put the pressure on its rivals on Friday with a 2-0 win at Nuremberg to stretch its unbeaten run to 14 games.
Moenchengladbach had two goals ruled out for offside in the first half, with Mike Hanke unlucky to have his 37th-minute effort ruled out as TV replays showed him in line with the defense before he fired past Diego Benaglio.
Marco Reus should have scored in the 69th, the Moenchengladbach winger missing a great chance when he had only Benaglio to beat.
In Leverkusen, former Germany captain Michael Ballack stayed on the bench for the second game in a row following criticism from club management.
Stefan Kiessling fired the home side ahead from a rebound in the 11th, before Julian Schieber equalized from an indirect free kick in the 23rd.
Stuttgart captain Serdar Tasci bundled Lars Bender over after the break, and Leverkusen captain Simon Rolfes took full advantage to score from the penalty spot in the 47th.
Leverkusen defender Michal Kadlec was sent off in the 63rd, earning his second yellow card for a foul on Cacau five minutes after earning his first.
Cacau set up Harnik's late equalizer and there was still time for Cristian Molinaro to be somewhat unluckily sent off for catching Andre Schuerrle's face in injury time as he was going for the ball.
Mohammed Abdellaoue scored his 11th goal of the season for Hannover with a stunning strike in the 68th, increasing the pressure on Hertha coach Michael Skibbe.
"A very unlucky defeat," said Skibbe, who has lost all three games since taking over from the sacked Markus Babbel.
Hertha, which hasn't won in nine Bundesliga games, also had Sebastian Neumann sent off for a second yellow card in the 75th.
Augsburg striker Sascha Moelders ended 347 minutes without scoring when he put the visitors ahead against Hoffenheim in the 31st, but Hoffenheim striker Peniel Mlapa then scored his first goal of the season to equalize in the 38th.
Sejad Salihovic put the home side ahead from the penalty spot in the 51st, and Sebastian Langkamp equalized again in the 72nd with a header from a corner.
"That wasn't pretty to look at — struggle and seizure," Hoffenheim goalkeeper Tom Starke said.