Reduced to ten men for more than half of their eagerly awaited game at previous leaders FC Schalke 04, FC Bayern München were nonetheless able to secure a 2-1 success that returned them to the top of the Bundesliga pile.
This high-profile contest fell between the two legs of Bayern's UEFA Champions League quarter-final against Manchester United FC, but Louis van Gaal's side were able to put Europe out of their minds as they moved a point clear with what could prove a telling result in the title race.
Franck Ribéry put the visitors ahead from the edge of the area on 25 minutes and Thomas Müller followed up with a close-range finish moments later, before Kevin Kuranyi fired his 18th league goal of the campaign just after the half-hour for Schalke. Bayern's Hamit Altıntop collected his second yellow card four minutes before half-time, yet the hosts were unable to profit and had Marcelo Bordon dismissed in added time.
Now six points off the pace, third-placed Bayer 04 Leverkusen lost Daniel Schwaab to a 49th-minute red card and suffered their fourth defeat in five league outings, going down 3-2 at Eintracht Frankfurt despite two goals for Stefan Kiessling. They now lie only a point clear of BV Borussia Dortmund in the last UEFA Champions League qualifying spot after their pursuers beat Werder Bremen 2-1
That result also boosted VfB Stuttgart's hopes of catching Bremen in fifth, as they moved within four points by overcoming VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-1. Lower down the standings, 14th-placed 1. FC Nürnberg climbed three points away from the relegation zone with a 2-0 success against ten-man 1. FSV Mainz 05, while the game between the two clubs directly beneath them – VfL Bochum 1848 and SC Freiburg – ended 1-1. Bottom club Hertha BSC Berlin triumphed 3-0 at 1. FC Köln in the late kick-off, leaving them six points from safety.
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|Last updated: 03/07/2011 03:02 CET|
|Venue: St. Pauli|