( dpa ) - A ten-man Werder Bremen lost 1-0 at Eintracht Frankfurt in a Bundesliga match on Saturday, giving Bayern Munich the chance to open up a six-point lead on Sunday.
The Bremen slip-up allowed Bayer Leverkusen to close the gap to the top as they beat fellow challengers Schalke 04 1-0 in Leverkusen through a late goal by Manuel Friedrich.
The victory sees Leverkusen climb to third on 38 points.
Werder Bremen had playmaker Diego sent off for shouldering Frankfurt defender Sotirios Kyrgiakos in an off-the-ball incident.
The home side made their numerical advantage count on the hour as captain Ioannis Amanatidis benefited from an intercepted Sebastian Boenisch pass that came to Chris and the Brazilian sent Amanatidis into space.
Bremen remain on 40 points - three less than Bayern, but three more than SV Hamburg, who play against each other in the Bavarian capital on Sunday. Hamburg are fourth on 37 points.
The defending champions Stuttgart, who are having a disappointing season, beat SC Karlsruhe 3-1 in a local derby. Germany internationals Mario Gomez and Roberto Hilbert scored in the fifth and 26th minute respectively to give the home side a two-goal lead at half time.
Tamas Hajnal pulled one back for Karlsruhe in the 81st minute, but Brazilian Cacau gave Stuttgart a two-goal cushion again two minutes from the end.
Hertha Berlin and VfL Wolfsburg played to a goalless draw in Berlin, while Borussia Dortmund won 1-0 against Hansa Rostock through a second half goal by Diego Klimowicz.
At the wrong end of the table MSV Duisburg scored an important 2-0 victory at fellow strugglers Arminia Bielefeld. Silvio Schroeter gave the visitors the lead after just eight minutes following their first corner and Nigerian Manasseh Ishiaku added a second three minutes after the restart.
Although Duisburg remain in the relegation zone, they climb to within a point of Bielefeld. Cottbus, who are away to Nuremberg on Sunday, are bottom with 16 points, the same amount that Nuremberg has. Duisburg is on 17 points, while Bielefeld is on 18.