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Mar 30, 2013

Claudio Pizarro nets 4 of Bayern's 9 goals

Bayern Munich illustrated why it has been named champion-elect as four goals from Claudio Pizarro helped guide it to an awe-inspiring 9-2 demolition of Hamburg on Saturday.

Bayern is now just one win away from its 22nd Bundesliga title after the destruction of a shell-shocked Hamburg which, apart from Pizarro's contribution, featured a double strike from Arjen Robben and one apiece for Bastian Schweinsteiger, Xherdan Shaqiri and Frank Ribery.

It could have been even worse for Hamburg with the hosts up 7-0 with 35 minutes remaining, though Hamburg managed to get on the scoresheet through Jeffrey Bruma and Heiko Westermann.

The scale of victory will also have been noted in Turin with the German side facing Juventus in the Champions League quarterfinals next week.

Although Borussia Dortmund's win over Stuttgart earlier Saturday ensured Bayern could not seal the title with a win, that did not lessen the hunger.

Bayern took the lead after just five minutes when Shaqiri picked his spot from nearly 25 yards after being set up by Toni Kroos.

Schweinsteiger made it two in the 19th minute with Shaqiri the provider this time, crossing for the Germany international to head in at the near post.

Pizarro nearly made it three soon afterwards, but he did not have to wait long before getting his own name on the scoresheet, pouncing at the far post to bundle the ball in after half an hour.

Three minutes later, Robben effectively sealed the win when he exchanged passes with Pizarro before beating Rene Adler inside his near post.

There was time for a fifth just before halftime with Pizarro on hand to score after Shaqiri's shot hit the post.

The goalscoring continued unabated in the second half with Pizarro and Robben scoring two goals in a minute to make it 7-0.

Bayern's biggest win of the season was complete in the 68th minute when Thomas Muller set up Pizarro for his fourth and Bayern's eighth of the evening.

The first blot on the copybook arrived in the 75th minute when Bruma headed in Rafael van der Vaart's cross, much to goalkeeper Manuel Neuer's chagrin.

Hamburg's already stifled celebrations lasted a matter of seconds before Ribery grabbed Bayern's ninth in the 76th minute.

Only then did Bayern think about saving their energy for Tuesday night, and they conceded a second in the 86th minute with another header from a Van der Vaart cross, this time from Westermann, although there was nothing to celebrate for the Hamburg captain after a humiliating evening in Munich.

Dortmund kept Bayern waiting for another week at least by winning 2-1 at Stuttgart. Lukasz Piszczek gave Dortmund the lead in the 29th minute, but Alexandru Maxim's first Bundesliga goal brought the Swabians level before a red card to Georg Niedermeier tipped the scales back in Dortmund's favour.

Robert Lewandowski grabbed the winner eight minutes from time.

Bayer Leverkusen kept a strong hold on third with a 4-1 win at Fortuna Dusseldorf. Two goals apiece for Stefan Kiessling and Andre Schurrle ensured Leverkusen maintained a six-point cushion over Schalke. The fifth goal in the game also came from a visiting player, Daniel Schwaab's own goal all Fortuna had to show for their efforts.

Schalke scored three times in the final 20 minutes to beat relegation-threatened Hoffenheim 3-0. Marco Hoger broke the deadlock in the 71st minute before two substitutes, Raffael and Teemu Pukki, wrapped up the victory.

Mainz dropped three points behind Schalke as it had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Werder Bremen, despite going ahead after 12 seconds. Adam Szalai gave Mainz a flying start, but Aaron Hunt earned Bremen a point.

Max Kruse scored twice as Freiburg moved ahead of Borussia Monchengladbach in the race for Europa League qualification with a 2-0 win.

Third-bottom Augsburg failed to improve its chances of avoiding the drop as it lost 2-0 at home to Hannover. Konstantin Rausch scored both goals in the second half.

Information from Press Association was used in this report.

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