Andriy Yarmolenko eased some of the pressure building on Borussia Dortmund head coach Peter Bosz by forcing a 1-1 draw at Bayer Leverkusen.
A week after Dortmund let a four-goal lead slip to tie with Ruhr derby rivals Schalke, their Bundesliga wounds deepened when Kevin Volland fired Leverkusen ahead at the BayArena.
But Die Werkself then lost Wendell to a red card, giving BVB an opening to hit back and avoid suffering a fourth defeat in five games.
Hot-shot Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was banned following his dismissal against Schalke, but Dortmund found a goal from an alternative source as Yarmolenko levelled in the 73rd minute.
Bosz's strugglers suffered an early setback in Leverkusen as forward Maximilian Phillip went down hurt - the summer signing from Freiburg could not continue and Andre Schurrle came on.
In the 14th minute Roman Burki denied Bayer's Julian Brandt, pushing a low shot out for a corner, and Kai Havertz came knocking soon after as he headed Leon Bailey's cross against the crossbar.
Home defender Benjamin Henrichs, still to open his account for his boyhood club, drove an effort straight at Dortmund's under-siege Swiss goalkeeper as the half-hour mark loomed.
Instead it fell to a seasoned goalscorer to grab Bayer's opener, Volland reaching nine for the season after seizing a Havertz pass and curling the ball beyond Burki.
The North Rhine-Westphalian onslaught continued with Jamaican flyer Bailey cutting inside to fizz an effort wide, but there would shortly be some bad news for Leverkusen.
After initially just being booked for fouling Gonzalo Castro, the video assistant referee decided to change Wendell's yellow card to a red one and the Brazilian was surprisingly dismissed.
When play resumed following the break Yarmolenko thought he had won a penalty for Dortmund but the referee did not believe substitute Panos Retsos had impeded the Ukrainian.
The former Dynamo Kiev winger had better luck as the game approached its final act. Schurrle provided the assist from the left and Yarmolenko side-footed home to set up a nerve-racking finale.
Bayer looked more like grabbing a late winner than Dortmund did, with Bailey powering a dangerous free-kick at Burki before Jonathan Tah connected with Karim Bellarabi's cross to further worry the keeper.
BVB survived three minutes of stoppage time, but are now 10 points behind Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich.