(CNN) -- The closest Bundesliga title race in years took another twist on Saturday as Hoffenheim went back to the top of the table on goal difference after a Demba Ba hat-trick earned them a 3-3 draw at Stuttgart.
Ba (left) scores one of his goals as Hoffenheim went back to the top of the Bundesliga table.
The result proved enough for Hoffenheim to return to the summit as previous leaders Hertha Berlin were beaten 2-1 at Wolfsburg, who themselves have realistic title ambitions, while champions Bayern Munich slumped 2-1 at home to Cologne, their third defeat in four league games.
Senegal striker Ba cancelled out by strikes from Cacau and a double from Germany forward Mario Gomez. However, the big story occured in injury time when Hoffenheim midfielder Sejad Salihovic missed a penalty which would have given the visitors a dramatic victory and a two-point advantage at the top.
Hertha lost top spot when two goals from Bosnian Edin Dzeko, the second with just six minutes remaining, cancelled out Cicero's opening goal to put Wolfsburg in the title shake-up.
However, the big shock came at the Allianz Arena, where mid-table Cologne stunned Bayern.
Frenchman Fabrice Ehret fired the visitors ahead in the 22nd minute and teenage midfielder Daniel Brosinski capped his debut with a goal on 34 minutes to double Cologne's lead. Daniel Van Buyten's late goal proved only a consolation for Bayern, who remain fourth in the table.
Sunday's match will also have a bearing on an already congested title race when fifth-placed Bayer Leverkusen entertain third-placed Hamburg.
Martin Jol's Hamburg lie just a point behind the joint leaders and a victory will put them two points clear at the top, while a Leverkusen win will lift them up to third and will see just a point separate the top four teams.
Wolfsburg's victory sees them remain sixth, but they are just four points behind Hoffenheim, level with Leverkusen on 36 points.