Bayern smash six, Leverkusen held
Bayern Munich's relentless march to the Bundesliga title continued on Saturday, while Bayer Leverkusen's dramatic loss of form showed little sign of coming to an end.
Bayern underlined their superiority by coming from behind to beat Wolfsburg 6-1 at the VW-Arena. With Leverkusen failing to win Pep Guardiola's side went 23 points clear at the top of the table, with Dortmund travelling to Freiburg on Sunday.
Wolfsburg took the lead when Kevin De Bruyne instinctively chipped it to the far post, where Naldo was lunging in to score ahead of David Alaba.
The goal stung Bayern, who hit back when Xherdan Shaqiri's effort was scooped out after it had already crossed the line. Thomas Mueller made sure from close range but the goal went to Shaqiri.
Bayern took the lead just after the hour when Mueller took the ball round the keeper before slotting it into the unguarded goal. Mario Mandzukic netted next, stroking in a Rafinha cross first time from near the penalty spot -- but refusing to celebrate against his former side.
Ribery added the third before Mueller and Mandzukic secured a brace of goals for themselves.
Bayer Leverkusen brought an end to their five-game losing streak, although they were only able to pick up a 1-1 draw at Hannover.
Leverkusen made a nervous start to the game and were lucky not to find themselves behind after only four minutes when Roberto Hilbert fouled Christian Schulz inside the area. Huszti stepped up to the spot, but Bernd Leno denied him with his fourth successful penalty save of the season.
Leverkusen took the lead just shy of the half hour. Ron-Robert Zieler's throw out was intercepted with Gonzalo Castro picking up the ball 20 yards from goal, and his shot deflected past the wrong-footed Hannover goalkeeper.
Hannover levelled five minutes later as Artjoms Rudnevs was given the run of the field, and he took his time before setting aim for the left-hand corner, beating Leno with an accurate effort from 25 yards out.
Klaas Jan Huntelaar scored a hat trick and missed a penalty as Schalke bounced back from two heavy defeats to beat Hoffenheim 4-0.
The Dutchman put the Royal Blues in command with two goals within the first half hour before wasting the chance to wrap things up from the penalty spot. He cheekily tried to scoop the ball past Koen Casteels, who embarrassed the Dutchman by making an easy save.
Schalke did get their third when Chinedu Obasi, facing his former club, was played in by Kevin-Prince Boateng and his powerful effort left Casteels with no chance. Draxler beat Roberto Firmino before crossing for Huntelaar to complete his hat trick from close range to seal the rout.
Augsburg kept up their push for a place in Europe next season with a 2-1 victory at Borussia Monchengladbach, who remain winless in 2014.
Halil Altintop's overhead kick brought Augsburg level after Raffael had given the Foals the lead. And Tobias Werner then scored the winner 10 minutes from time to lift Markus Weinzierl's men above their hosts and Mainz, who play on Sunday, and into sixth place in the standings.
Stuttgart brought an end to their eight-game losing streak, but a 2-2 draw at home to bottom-placed Eintracht Braunschweig may not be enough to keep coach Thomas Schneider in a job.
Jan Hochscheidt gave the visitors the lead, but Alexandru Maxim and Martin Harnik turned the game on its head to leave Stuttgart ahead going into the final 10 minutes.
They could not hold on for a much-needed win, though, as Ermin Bicakcic equalised eight minutes from time to keep Braunschweig's own hopes of avoiding the drop alive.
Hamburg failed to lift themselves out of the bottom three as they only managed a 1-1 draw against Eintracht Frankfurt at the HSV-Arena.
Alexander Madlung gave Frankfurt the lead, but Hakan Calhanoglu earned the northern Germany side a point from the penalty spot.
Hamburg wasted chances to claim the victory and therefore remain six points behind their opponents, and still inside the bottom three.
Werder Bremen picked up an important three points in their battle to beat the drop with a 2-0 win at fellow strugglers Nurnberg.
The margin of victory could even have been greater, had Aaron Hunt not made a commendable gesture in turning down a penalty in the second half, telling the referee to change his mind after getting his foot caught in the ground.
By then, Bremen were already two goals to the good with Franco Di Santo and Philipp Bargfrede sealing all three points for Robin Dutt's men.
The win lifts them eight points clear of the relegation zone, and leaves Nurnberg five points in their wake.