Paco Alcacer scored twice in stoppage-time as Borussia Dortmund moved two points clear of Bayern Munich at the Bundesliga summit with a dramatic 2-0 home win over Wolfsburg, a week before they meet their title rivals in Der Klassiker.
Bayern drew 1-1 away to Freiburg, and it looked like Dortmund would also only pick up a point until Alcacer netted a powerful free-kick and finished off a swift counter-attack in a sensational climax.
Marco Reus, Dortmund's influential captain and the matchwinner in November's reverse fixture, missed the match as his partner was due to give birth, while Christian Pulisic was out injured.
Without Reus, Lucien Favre's men struggled for attacking fluidity before Alcacer's late intervention against Wolfsburg, who drop to eighth after their defeat, despite faring much better than they did in their last away game, a 6-0 loss to Bayern.
Alcacer fired over from a good early opportunity created by Mario Gotze, but the best moment of the first half saw Roman Burki produce a superb reaction save to tip Wout Weghorst's curling shot wide.
Dortmund failed to trouble Wolfsburg goalkeeper Koen Casteels before the break, with Dan-Axel Zagadou missing a headed opportunity as a pigeon that defiantly remained around the pitch provided more entertainment for the Signal Iduna Park crowd.
Jadon Sancho forced a save from Casteels just after the hour mark, while the lively Raphael Guerreiro was also denied as Dortmund lost Abdou Diallo and Achraf Hakimi to injury on what was becoming a frustrating afternoon.
But Dortmund will take a title-race lead to the Allianz Arena in seven days' time after Alcacer blasted a free-kick past the weak hands of Casteels from 20 yards, before being set up by Sancho to finish off a late break four minutes into added time.