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By ESPN Staff
Mar 24, 2012

Bayern edge Hannover, Gladbach stutter

Bayern Munich claimed a workmanlike 2-1 victory over Hannover to apply more pressure on Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund. • European gallery Photo Gallery Toni Kroos opened the scoring for Bayern in the 36th minute and substitute Mario Gomez made it 2-0 after 68 minutes. Didier Ya Konan hit Hannover's reply in the 74th minute. Just days after their victory over Borussia Monchengladbach in the DFB-Pokal semi-finals, Bayern collected their third straight win to move onto 57 points - two behind Dortmund, who play on Sunday. Borussia Monchengladbach suffered their first home defeat of the season as they conceded two goals to Hoffenheim within the space of three minutes to go down 2-1. Just days after losing to Bayern on penalties in the German Cup semi-finals, Gladbach fell further behind the Bavarians in the league, despite taking the lead through Marco Reus in the 38th minute. However, Roberto Firmino equalised for Hoffenheim after 77 minutes and Boris Vukcevic scored the winner for the visitors shortly after. Gladbach have collected just one win in their last six games and saw their league-best 16-match home undefeated streak come to an end. Hoffenheim had won just once in their last 11 games before this victory. Things got worse for Gladbach as two goals from Klaas Jan Huntelaar gave Schalke a 2-0 victory over Bayer Leverkusen that saw them move up into third. The Dutchman kept up the pressure on Bayern Munich's Mario Gomez at the top of the Bundesliga goalscoring charts with his 21st and 22nd goals of the season, one in each half at the Arena AufSchalke. Huntelaar, who was labelled the "best striker in the world inside the penalty area" by his coach Huub Stevens, has now scored 40 goals in all competitions this season to help the Royal Blues on their way towards a place in the Champions League next season. Freiburg scored twice in the opening 14 minutes as new Kaiserslautern coach Krassimir Balakov's reign got off to a disappointin start with a 2-0 reverse. Karim Guede opened the scoring for Freiburg in the eighth minute and Cedrick Makiadi doubled the lead six minutes later. Freiburg have now won three and drawn one of their last four games to boost their survival hopes. In contrast, Kaiserslautern's chances of staying up are looking increasingly slim as the basement boys' winless run grew to 17 matches. Adrian Ramos scored two goals as Hertha Berlin earned a huge 3-1 victory in their fight against relegation from the Bundesliga by wining at Mainz. Anis Ben-Hatira made it 1-0 in the 41st minute for Berlin before Ramos doubled the advantage after 52 minutes. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting halved the deficit in the 58th minute but Ramos struck again for a 3-1 lead in the 69th minute. Berlin had earned just one victory in their last 14 games, including last week's 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Bayern Munich.

But after scoring just one goal in their last seven games, Berlin netted their first three goals of 2012. Mainz, who had five victories and two draws in their last seven home matches, remain on 30 points and are four clear of their opponents.

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