Bayern Munich needed a late winner from Niklas Sule to see off a stubborn Werder Bremen on Saturday.
Bayern rolled out the big guns for this crucial six-pointer, with goalkeeper Manuel Neuer the only exclusion.
The game’s first big chance fell to the Bavarians on 26 minutes when Serge Gnabry failed to finish off Thiago Alcantara’s assist.
Bremen didn’t offer nor troubled the hosts, who likewise to get sufficient movements in and around the visitors defence.
As such the half ended goalless, with despite the few half-hearted and near misses from both the sides.
Bayern looked for an early opener in the second half, but Jiri Pavlenka prevented Robert Lewandowski’s low shot from the near-side.
Bremen were cut down to 10-man 58 minutes in after Milos Veljkovic raised his arm to challenge Niklas Sule for a high ball.
A minute later, Leon Goretzka was sent on by Niko Kovac in place of Spanish international Javier Martinez.
Bremen responded with their first change minutes later, as Sebastian Langkamp took the place of Kevin Mohwald.
With 69 minutes played, Pavlenka tipped David Alaba’s rolling shot from inside the penalty area into touch.
Bayern went in front 15 minutes to fulltime when Sule’s low shot wrong-footed Pavlenka before rolling into the net.
The German champions missed a chance to get a second minutes later, but Lewandowski’s curling shot bounced off the crossbar.
But the Bavarians had done enough to seal the match and three points to maintain their place at the top of the Bundesliga standings.