Bayern Munich rested half a dozen stars but still romped to a 6-1 win at home against 10-man Werder Bremen on Saturday to go 18 points clear at the top of the Bundesliga.
Bayern boss Jupp Heynckes celebrated his 1000th Bundesliga game as a player and coach by making six changes from the team which won 3-1 at Arsenal in the Champions League on Tuesday.
But they still extended their unbeaten run to 20 matches since their last defeat at home to Bayer Leverkusen at the end of October while resting their top players for Wednesday's German Cup quarter-final at home to Dortmund.
"After making those six changes, we needed 20 minutes to find our rhythm," said Heynckes, with only ex-Greece coach Otto Rehhagel having been involved in more Bundesliga matches with 1,037.
"We saw some nice goals out there, but we didn't reckon with conceding one, that was annoying," added Heynckes, whose team last conceded a league goal on December 14 in a 1-1 draw against Moenchengladbach.
"Those players who came in justified my confidence in them. The game on Wednesday will be a real cup battle."
Amongst the key changes, Germany striker Mario Gomez, who scored twice, came in for Mario Mandzukic, Dutch wing Arjen Robben, who opened the scoring, started for Thomas Mueller while Swiss midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri took Toni Kroos' place.
Munich were ahead after 25 minutes when Robben won the race with Franck Ribery to convert Philipp Lahm's cross for the opener.
The next goal came just four minutes later when Robben's free-kick was headed home by Javi Martinez.
To make matters worse for Bremen, centre-back Sebastian Proedl was shown a straight red card for bringing down Gomez, who was through on goal, a minute before the break.
Things did not improve in the second half when Bremen's left-back Theodor Gebre Selassie turned the ball into his own net on 49 minutes, then Gomez grabbed his first and Bayern's fourth just two minutes later.
Belgium midfielder Kevin de Bruyne, on loan at Bremen from Chelsea, pulled a goal back for Werder approaching the hour mark, but Bremen's defence capitulated late on as Ribery, then Gomez, added goals in the last five minutes.
The two teams closest to Bayern, Borussia Dortmund, who are at Moenchengladbach, and Bayer Leverkusen, at bottom side Greuther Fuerth, need to pick up wins on Sunday to cut Bayern's huge lead.
South Korean striker Ji Dong-Won scored his first goal in six appearances for strugglers Augsburg since joining from Sunderland in January in his team's 2-1 win at home to Hoffenheim.
Striker Sascha Moelders added a second on 79 minutes to seal only Augsburg's third win of the season and they move up to 16th in the league, nine points from safety, while Hoffenheim drop to 17th and deeper in the relegation mire.
Hanover bounced back from their midweek Europa League exit at the hands of Russia's Anzhi Makhachkala with a 5-1 win over guests Hamburg to move up to seventh.
Ivory Coast's Didier Ya Konan, playing on the right wing, scored twice including a superb volley from 20 metres out just before the break.
Wolfsburg earned a 1-1 draw at Mainz 05 despite playing with 10 men for 60 minutes after centre-back Alexander Madlung was shown an early red card for pulling back Mainz's Nicolai Muelle.
Nuremberg earned a 1-1 draw at Stuttgart to stay 14th and just above the relegation place, while on Saturday night, Schalke 04, fresh from Wednesday's 1-1 Champions League draw at Galatasaray, host Fortuna Duesseldorf.