Nurnberg became only the second German team all season to take anything off Bayern Munich with a spirited 1-1 draw in a Bavarian derby Saturday at the Frankenstadion.
Bayern still extended its lead at the top of the Bundesliga after nearest challengers Schalke slumped to defeat later Saturday.
Mario Mandzukic gave Bayern a flying start with the opening goal in the third minute but Nurnberg did not panic and fought its way back into the game with former Bayern midfielder Markus Feulner levelling early in the second half.
Nurnberg even had chances to win the game before losing Timo Gebhart to a red card in the 76th minute, at which stage it got everybody behind the ball and defended successfully for a point.
The 185th Bavarian derby started with a surprise as Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes left his captain Philipp Lahm on the bench along with Javi Martinez, probably with a view to the Valencia game.
Mandzukic got the nod to lead the attack with Claudio Pizarro on the bench and no sign of Mario Gomez, who made his comeback from an ankle injury in a friendly match in midweek.
It was a decision which Heynckes got spot-on once again as the Croatia striker gave Bayern the lead after just three minutes, scoring his ninth Bundesliga goal of the season.
Anatoliy Tymoschuk, also making a rare start, sent the ball through for Toni Kroos, who in turn picked out Mandzukic for a simple tap-in.
Nurnberg, which had slumped to just one place above the bottom three in recent weeks, could hardly have imagined a worse start to the game and it took a while to regain its control over nerves.
Bayern was in complete control of the game, until a stirring halftime team talk from Dieter Hecking clearly worked.
Nurnberg made a dream start to the second half with Feulner pulling the trigger from almost 30 yards out, with the ball curling away from Manuel Neuer's reach and into the bottom corner to bring the club level.
A minute later, Nurnberg almost took the lead with Gebhart and Sebastian Polter both making a hash of shots from good positions.
It then seemed like Nurnberg was going to go on and win the game, but as Gebhart stuck his elbow into Bastian Schweinsteiger's cheek, and the referee brandished a second yellow card, there was only one thing for it.
Nurnberg summoned all of its remaining strength to withstand a Bayern siege and hold on for a crucial point and plenty of pride.
Despite that result, though, Bayern moved eight points clear at the summit after second-placed Schalke was beaten 2-0 by Bayer Leverkusen.
Andre Schurrle and Stefan Kiessling scored the goals for Leverkusen, which also missed a penalty late on when Kiessling's effort was saved by Lars Unnerstall.
To add salt to Schalke's wounds, it finished with 10 men after losing Kyriakos Papadopoulos to a second yellow card with eight minutes remaining.
Eintracht Frankfurt took advantage of Schalke's slip to move level on 23 points with a 4-2 home win over bottom side Augsburg.
An own goal from Sascha Molders put Armin Veh's side on its way to victory and Stefan Aigner doubled the lead in the 32nd minute. Ja-cheol Koo gave Augsburg a glimmer of hope with a goal just before the break, but Alexander Meier's eighth goal of the season restored Frankfurt's two-goal advantage in the 52nd minute.
Molders scored at the right end in the 64th minute as Augsburg came back at Frankfurt, but midfielder Meier's ninth goal of the season from the penalty spot in the 75th minute saw off the Bavarian club's challenge.
Borussia Dortmund made light work of Greuther Furth at the Westfalenstadion with Robert Lewandowski and Mario Gotze leading a 3-1 victory.
Lewandowski struck first, giving Jurgen Klopp's side the lead in the third minute, though their advantage lasted only two minutes before Zoltan Stieber leveled. Lewandowski restored Dortmund's lead in the 15th minute before Gotze made it 3-1 just before halftime.
Stuttgart secured a 2-1 victory against Borussia Monchengladbach at the Borussia Park Stadion and made amends for last weekend's defeat to Hannover, in which the Reds threw away a two-goal lead.
Former Stuttgart defender Martin Stranzl put the hosts in front in the seventh minute, but Martin Harnik leveled instantly for Bruno Labbadia's men. An own goal from Roel Brouwers in the 72nd minute gave Stuttgart a deserved lead.
Freiburg picked up a deserved 2-1 victory in Hannover and became only the second team to win in the Bundesliga at the Niedersachsenstadion in over a year.
Jonathan Schmid gave Christian Streich's side the lead in the 11th minute only for Mohammed Abdellaoue to level from the penalty spot in the 33rd minute. Jan Rosenthal earned Freiburg all three points with his goal in the 56th minute as Hannover could not find an answer for a second time.
Hamburg got the better of Mainz 1-0 in a tense battle at the HSV-Arena, with a second-half goal from Heung-min Song earning Thorsten Fink's side all three points.
There were few chances between two sides who did not appear to want to do each other any harm, resulting in a tactical exchange which was decided in the 63rd minute by the South Korean midfielder. Maximilian Beister sent the ball into the danger area on the volley and Song, from a disputably offside position, tucked the ball in from close range.
The result took Hamburg level on points with their opponents with both sides still well-positioned just below the top six places.
Information from Press Association was used in this report.