Bayern Munich went seven points clear at the top of the Bundesliga on Saturday as the Bavarian giants cruised to a 3-0 win against Hamburg SV with their Germany stars running riot.
With second-placed Schalke 04 suffering a shock 3-2 defeat at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, Bayern took the chance to extend their lead with an emphatic victory as they bounced back from last Sunday’s shock 2-1 home defeat to Bayer 04 Leverkusen.
Germany midfielders Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Mueller and Toni Kroos all scored as Hamburg’s previous run of four wins in six games came to a sudden halt while Munich warmed up for Wednesday’s Champions League clash at home to LOSC Lille Metropole.
Bayern took the lead on 30 minutes when Kroos’ cross found Schweinsteiger unmarked at the far post.
Mueller then added a sublime second on 48 minutes when played into the area by France wing Franck Ribery and with Hamburg goalkeeper Rene Adler covering the near post, Mueller simply curled his shot into the far corner from a tight angle.
With confidence buoyed, Bayern poured forward and Kroos added the third on 53 minutes after exchanging passes with Ribery and blasted home past Adler.
Hoffenheim enjoyed their first win in five games after striker Kevin Volland put the hosts ahead on 13 minutes before Schalke midfielder Roman Neustaedter levelled with a header on 37 minutes.
Brazilian midfielder Roberto Firmino then converted a 67th-minute penalty after Volland was fouled in the box.
It had looked as though Schalke had rescued a point after Japan defender Atsuto Uchida had scored a late equalizer to make it 2-2 draw on 82 minutes.
However, two minutes after coming off the bench, midfielder Sven Schipplock hit the 91st-minute winner when played through to draw Schalke goalkeeper Lars Unnerstall and fire home before the Royal Blues host Arsenal tomorrow in the Champions League.
Eintracht Frankfurt remain third after their 1-1 draw with SpVgg Greuther Furth on Friday.
Defending champions Borussia Dortmund are fourth after they were held to a goalless draw by VfB Stuttgart and remain four points behind Frankfurt.
Dortmund captain Sebastian Kehl is an injury doubt for tomorrow’s Champions League clash at Real Madrid after he broke his nose.
The 32-year-old has to be replaced with 20 minutes gone after taking a stray elbow in the face while challenging for a ball with Stuttgart’s Raphael Holzhauser, who was given a yellow card.
Nuremberg won the battle of the basement teams as midfielder Timo Gebhart scored the winner with a 76th-minute header to move up to 14th and take some of the pressure off coach Dieter Hecking with their first win in seven games.
Hannover 96 are sixth after their 2-0 win at home to Augsburg while Borussia Moenchengladbach were held to a 1-1 draw at their own ground by SC Freiburg.