Wolfsburg and 10-man Werder Bremen shared the points in a result that does little to help the lofty aspirations that both teams have this season.
Marko Arnautovic gave Bremen the lead in the 35th minute but they lost Lukas Schmitz to a red card in the 62nd minute and Wolfsburg equalised almost immediately through Bas Dost.
Improving Wolfsburg have now collected four wins and a draw in their last six competitive matches to move onto 15 points while Bremen remain three points better off.
Both teams are now even further adrift of Bayern Munich, though, with the runaway Bundesliga leaders thrashing Hannover today.
The match was a reunion for two former Bremen stars in the Wolfsburg squad in Naldo and Diego as well as for Wolfsburg director of sport Klaus Allofs, who was making his home debut on the touchline against the team he had led for 13 years.
The first chance of the game went to Bremen in the seventh minute as Arnautovic passed into the box to Nils Petersen, who twirled and unleashed a shot but could not beat Wolfsburg keeper Diego Benaglio.
Arnautovic was close 16 minutes later but fired just over the crossbar.
Wolfsburg then twice strike the woodwork as Bremen defender Sokratis deflected Makoto Hasebe's shot onto the right post in the 31st minute.
The hosts then struck the other post in the 34th minute following a Dost's header.
And to add to Wolfsburg's frustrations, they fell behind a minute later.
Eljero Elia raced to the goalline and poked a pass through the defence to the right side where Arnautovic struck home to make it 1-0.
Bremen suffered a setback just after the hour though when Schmitz was shown his second card for his challenge on Vieirinha, leaving the visitors with a man less
Wolfsburg equalised two minutes later following a counter-attack as Diego passed a throughball to Vieirinha whose first-time cross resulted in Dost slotting home.
Wolfsburg were close to taking the lead in the 65th minute but Sokratis cleared Diego's shot off the line.
Werder keeper Sebastian Mielitz made two good saves against Dost in the 73rd minute and Ivica Olic three minutes later.
Bremen almost snatched the win late on but Aaron Hunt saw his superb free-kick hit the left-hand post with eight minutes remaining.