Berlin: Borussia Dortmund slipped back to the bottom of the Bundesliga on Saturday despite picking up a point in their goalless draw at fellow Champions League side Bayer Leverkusen.
Before kick-off, Freiburg`s 4-1 comeback win at home to Eintracht Frankfurt had lifted Christian Streich`s side up to 13th to send Dortmund bottom for the first time since November.
But Jurgen Klopp`s Dortmund failed to break the hosts` defence at Leverkusen`s BayArena as Borussia`s Italy striker Ciro Immobile squandered a string of second-half chances.
At the other end, Borussia`s Germany defender Mats Hummels headed Gonzalo Castro`s first-half shot off the line in the hosts` best chance after Castro had earlier shot over the bar.
"We can live with that. This isn`t an easy place to come and pick up anything," said Dortmund`s new signing Kevin Kampl.
"We knew they had an extremely good pressing game, perhaps it wasn`t the best football, but the main thing for us is to pick up points - even if it was just one today."
With ten defeats in 18 games, Klopp`s side are enduring their worst start to a league season in 30 years.
They are looking to avoid dropping out of the Bundesliga for the first time since 1976, while Bayer are fifth.
Schalke 04`s star striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar will miss Tuesday`s Bundesliga clash at leaders Bayern Munich after being sent off in their 1-0 league win over Hanover 96.
`The Hunter`, who has claimed seven league goals this season, was shown a straight red for hacking down Hanover`s Manuel Schmiedebach five minutes from time.
The Dutch international has netted 66 goals in 117 league games at Schalke, but is now suspended for what already looked a difficult league clash at Bayern`s Allianz Arena on Tuesday.
"The red card against Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has hurt us," admitted Schalke coach Roberto Di Matteo.
"It was a foul and the referee was in a good position.
"Klaas-Jan was trying to win the ball, but didn`t succeed and, of course, it`s a pity he will be missing now."
The Royal Blues went ahead at the Veltins Arena when midfielder Marco Hoeger slotted his shot past Hanover`s Germany goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler with 32 minutes gone.
The win lifted Di Matteo`s Schalke, who face holders Real Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League next month, up to fourth in the table.
Pep Guardiola`s Bayern had their lead cut to eight points on Friday when they suffered a shock 4-1 hammering at second-placed VfL Wolfsburg as the Bundesliga resumed after the winter break.
Borussia Moenchengladbach went third in the league on Saturday after Patrick Herrmann netted their second-half goal in a 1-0 win over VfB Stuttgart, who dropped to second from bottom.
Herrmann drilled home Branimir Hrgota`s swirling cross 20 minutes from time to move Lucien Favre`s side up behind leaders Bayern and VfL Wolfsburg.
Freiburg`s 4-1 win over Frankfurt featured a second-half hat-trick from ex-Bayern striker Nils Petersen, who came off the bench to grab the points for Freiburg and leave Borussia bottom.
It was Freiburg`s first win since November and it catapulted them up from last place to 13th in the table.
Cologne pulled away from the relegation zone and up to tenth with a 2-0 win at strugglers Hamburg, who drop to 15th and just above the bottom three.
Cologne picked up their fifth away win, to match Bayern`s tally on the road as midfielder Marcel Risse scored both second-half goals.
He fired his first through the legs of Hamburg goalkeeper Jaroslav Drobny before burying a final pass from Nigeria`s Anthony Ujah 12 minutes from time.
Mid-table Mainz romped to a 5-0 win over Paderborn as midfielder Yunus Malli scored twice and set up their third.