Borussia Dortmund's fast-fading Bundesliga title hopes suffered another crushing blow on Friday as they slumped to a 2-1 defeat at Stuttgart.
Dortmund now have just one point from their last five league matches and head into Tuesday's Champions League clash with Tottenham with only one competitive win -- against third-tier Magdeburg in the cup -- since September.
They were the architects of their own downfall at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, with a terrible mix-up between Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Buerki and defender Marc Bartra gifting Chadrac Akolo the opener after just five minutes.
Dortmund then almost spurned a gilt-edged opportunity to equalise in first-half stoppage time when Andre Schurrle - taking over penalty duties after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was dropped for disciplinary reasons - saw his spot-kick saved by Ron-Robert Zieler.
Fortunately for Schurrle, Maximilian Philipp was quickest to react and he coolly slotted the loose ball into the near top corner to make it 1-1.
That was not enough to save the visitors, though, with Stuttgart netting the winning goal six minutes into the second half through substitute Josip Brekalo.
Brekalo, who replaced goalscorer Akolo at the interval, drilled home a low shot after being put clear by Berkay Ozcan as Stuttgart made it 16 points from a possible 18 at home this season.