Robert Lewandowski scored his 22nd Bundesliga goal of the season as Bayern Munich stayed four points clear, helped by a late penalty miss from Alfred Finnbogason in a 1-0 victory at Augsburg on Wednesday.
Lewandowski’s 13th-minute penalty was enough for a win which kept the reigning champions clear of second-placed RB Leipzig, who edged out Union Berlin 1-0 thanks to an Emil Forsberg goal.
But Bayern survived a late scare in the Bavaria derby as Finnbogason could only hit the post from the spot with 14 minutes to play.
“We’ve now won our last two games and that’s a sign to our rivals,” said Bayern captain Manuel Neuer.
Poland striker Lewandowski has scored 10 goals more than his nearest rival, Dortmund’s Erling Braut Haaland, in the Bundesliga this term.
But he was replaced midway through the second half after treatment for a leg knock, but Bayern coach Hansi Flick said it was only as a precaution.
Bayern battered the hosts’ goal with 15 first-half shots while Augsburg did not trouble the European champions with a single attempt in the first 45 minutes.
It was a different story after the break as Augsburg wasted a string of chances, including Finnbogason’s miss after Benjamin Pavard handled in the area.
The clean sheet in Augsburg saw Bayern goalkeeper Neuer equal Oliver Kahn’s Bundesliga record of 196.
Earlier, Schalke remained rooted to the foot of the table after slipping to a 2-1 home loss to fellow strugglers Cologne, despite a fifth goal in three games for American teenager Matthew Hoppe.
Cologne defender Rafael Czichos gave the visitors a first-half lead, but Hoppe equalised before the hour mark.
Cologne snatched a late win when Jan Thielmann fired past Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Faehrmann in injury time.
Despite the away win, Cologne remain in the relegation play-off place. Schalke stay bottom, behind Mainz on goal difference.
Arminia Bielefeld’s 3-0 win over Stuttgart later on Wednesday saw Schalke and Mainz fall 10 points from the guaranteed safety of 15th in the table.
Schalke next host Bayern on Sunday having been thrashed 8-0 by the European champions at the Allianz Arena on the opening day of the season.
The Royal Blues’ new signing Klaas-Jan Huntelaar missed Wednesday’s game with a calf strain after rejoining on Tuesday following two years with Ajax.