Bayern Munich have increased their Bundesliga lead after beating Cologne 1-0.
Bayern Munich have beaten winless bottom club Cologne 1-0 to stretch their Bundesliga lead to nine points.
Poland striker Robert Lewandowski scored the winner on the hour for Bayern who were not fully convincing but are in full control at the top ahead of the final round before the winter break on the weekend.
Schalke climbed into second place with a hard fought 3-2 over Augsburg.
Bayer Leverkusen are fourth from a 1-0 win against second-last Werder Bremen while Hoffenheim also prevailed 1-0 over VfB Stuttgart to rank fifth.
Salomon Kalou got a brace as Hertha Berlin beat Hanover 3-1 in a mid-table duel.
Bayern started strongly into a seemingly lopsided duel with injury-plagued and low-confidence Cologne who on the weekend missed a first season win by squandering a 3-0 lead in a 4-3 defeat against Freiburg.
Franck Ribery and Thomas Mueller were denied by Cologne keeper Timo Horn in the first 10 minutes but despite almost total control of possession the next Bayern chance did not come until Mueller's header into the side-netting in the 38th.
David Alaba aimed wide shortly after the restart before Bayern broke the deadlock at last.
Jerome Boateng chipped another high ball into the Cologne area, Mueller back-headed into the path of Lewandowski who easily netted his 15th season goal.
Bayern pressed for a second but Horn saved from James Rodriguez; and Cologne almost snatched an equaliser from Lukas Kluenter who was denied by Tom Starke as the visitors remained on three points (from draws) in 16 games.