Huub Stevens' men missed the chance to overtake Dortmund in the table, while there were big wins for Nurnberg and Stuttgart across a busy a midweek programme
Schalke lost yet more ground in the race with Bayern Munich as they crashed to a 3-1 defeat to Hamburg at the Imtech Arena on Tuesday.
With both sides suffering disappointing results over the weekend, it took a while for the game to really get going. The first goal arrived after the break, when Maximilian Beister charged through the Konigsblauen defence and flashed an incredible left-footed shot past Lars Unnerstall.
Before the visitors had a chance to catch their breath, they were two behind. Dennis Diekmeier found space in the box and pulled it across the face of goal to Artjoms Rudnevs, who finished with ease.
Schalke pulled one back on 80 minutes when Klaas-Jan Huntelaar followed up his own missed penalty, but HSV made the points safe when Milan Badelj netted a penalty of his own.
HANNOVER 2-0 GREUTHER FURTH
Hannover recovered from their weekend thumping at the hands of Bayern Munich by overcoming Greuther Furth 2-0 at the AWD Arena.
The hosts had been comprehensively outplayed on Saturday, but got off to the ideal start here. Jan Schlaudraff fed Didier Ya Konan, who forced a decent save from Max Grun, but Mame Biram Diouf was there to tap home the rebound.
The lead stood for over an hour before the points were made safe when Schlaudraff delivered another telling ball, and Mario Eggimann sent a thumping header into the back of the net.
EINTRACHT FRANKFURT 1-3 MAINZ
Mainz continued their ascent up the Bundesliga table by beating high-flying Eintracht Frankfurt 3-1 at the Commerzbank Arena.
The deadlock was broken after just 18 minutes, when Shawn Parker found room in the box and pulled it across the face of goal for Andreas Ivanschitz to drag past Kevin Trapp in the Frankfurt goal.
Just before the break they doubled their lead when Eugen Polanski fed Parker, who wriggled free of his man and fired it home. Soon after the restart, it was three. Nicolai Muller swung in a corner, and Nikolce Noveski was there to nod it in.
Adam Szalai diverted a Takashi Inui cross past his own keeper to make it 3-1, and Julian Baumgartlinger received a late red card for a second yellow card, but it mattered little - Mainz had done enough to record an excellent away win.
BORUSSIA MONCHENGLADBACH 2-0 WOLFSBURG
Borussia Dortmund recovered from their disappointing draw at the weekend to beat Wolfsburg 2-0 at Borussia Park.
The hosts have often relied on Juan Arango this season, and the Venezuelan was there once more on 11 minutes, volleying home a sensational strike after an inch-perfect long ball from Havard Nodtveit.
Shortly before the break, they wrapped up all three points in slightly fortuitous fashion when a right-wing corner fell kindly to Tony Jantschke, who scuffed it past Diego Benaglio.
Gladbach now sit in ninth place, level on points with Hannover in sixth, but Wolfsburg are just three clear of the drop zone.
WERDER BREMEN 1-4 LEVERKUSEN
Bayer Leverkusen capitalised on Schalke and Dortmund's dropped points, moving into second by beating Werder Bremen 4-1 at the Weserstadion.
Gonzalo Castro got the visitors off to a great start by following up Dani Carvajal's blocked shot and slotting it into the back of the net. Shortly after the break it was two. Castro latched on to Lars Bender's through pass and finished coolly.
A close-range Nils Petersen header temporarily reduced the deficit two minutes later, but Simon Rolfes soon restored the Werkself's two-goal advantage. Jens Hegeler, fresh off the bench, rounded off the victory 10 minutes from time, meaning Bremen slip to 12th.
STUTTGART 2-1 AUGSBURG
Another side to bounce back from a disappointing result over the weekend was Stuttgart, who claimed a 2-1 win over Augsburg.
It took just 11 minutes for the hosts to take the lead. Vedad Ibisevic darted down the flank, put in a teasing ball across the face of goal, and Ibrahima Traore was there to flick it into the back of the net.
Just before the break, however, Augsburg equalised thanks to a piece of magic. Koo Ja-Cheol picked up the ball, danced past a string of defenders and smashed it into the top corner. However, 20 minutes from time, Stuttgart sealed the win when Ibisevic headed Traore's free kick beyond Mohamed Amsif.
This win sees Stuttgart rise to 11th place, seven points ahead of the drop zone.
NURNBERG 4-2 HOFFENHEIM
Nurnberg also claimed a big win, overcoming Hoffenheim 4-2 at home to round off Wednesday's action.
The hosts took the lead in fortuitous fashion after just six minutes, when Sebastian Rudy diverted Hiroshi Kiyotake's free kick past Koen Casteels, his own goalkeeper. However, the hosts fought back, and found themselves on level terms on 33 minutes, with Kevin Volland supplying the cross for Sven Schipplock to equalise.
Just before the break, though, Nurnberg were back in front thanks to a Per Nilsson header. Sebastian Polter extended their lead on 69 minutes, and although Sejad Salihovic's strike looked likely to ensure a nervy ending to the match, Kiyotake stole the points four minutes from time.
Nurnberg now sit in 13th, with Hoffenheim occupying the relegation playoff place.