Bayern Munich had their 20-match unbeaten run in all competitions ended at Hoffenheim yesterday morning (Singapore time) as Andrej Kramaric's victor sealed the hosts' shock 1-0 victory.
But with Real Madrid awaiting in the Champions League quarter-final next week, Bayern know too well a slip-up against Dortmund could seriously dent their self-confidence.
This was Hoffenheim's first win over Bayern at the 18th attempt.
"It shouldn't happen. We didn't play well in the first half".
Following the Hoffenheim goal, Bayern Munich responded strongly with a number of chances against Hoffenheim goalkeeper Oliver Baumann. Kramaric picked up the ball centrally, just outside of the box, and wired a rocket of a shot past Bayern goalkeeper Thomas Ulreich, standing in for the injured Manuel Neuer, to give Hoffenheim their first-ever victory over the Bavarians in the Bundesliga.
Hoffenheim dominated the first half, but Bayern came close to levelling on the stroke of half-time when Robert Lewandowski saw his effort hit the crossbar.
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Julian Nagelsmann's side - who had led in the reverse fixture at the Allianz Arena last November before having to settle for a 1-1 draw - are now unbeaten in seven games but remain third in the table, a point behind second-placed RB Leipzig, who travel to Mainz on Wednesday.
Hoffenheim captain Sebastian Rudy and fellow defender Niklas Suele were playing against their future club after agreeing to switch to Bayern for next season.
Despite being on the back foot, Aubameyang missed another great chance when he struck Adler in the face.
Hamburg keeper Rene Adler got the better of Aubameyang in a one-on-one early before Dortmund counterpart Roman Burki did likewise to Bobby Wood at the other end.
Hoffenheim strengthen their hold on third place and are set to make their Champions League debut next season.
Merkel was there to see the home side wearing jerseys highlighting an initiative supported by around 180 companies to promote the integration of refugees into the workplace.