Bundesliga leaders FC Bayern München continued their red-hot form as they won 4-1 at home against SV Werder Bremen.
Bayern's nearest challengers were not in action until Sunday, giving the Bavarians the chance to move 18 points clear. They seized it with aplomb thanks in part to a fine display from Arjen Robben, starting only his second match since November.
The Dutch winger's close-range volley earned Bayern the lead midway through the first period, before his free-kick was headed in by Javi Martínez. Bremen's uphill climb was made tougher still when Sebastian Prödl was sent off on the cusp of half-time, and a Theodore Gebre Selassie own goal soon after all but extinguished hope.
Bremen got a goal back via Chelsea FC loanee Kevin De Bruyne, but only after Mario Gomez had headed a fourth. Frack Ribéry and Gomez each struck in the last four minutes to rub salt in the wound.
In the late game, centre-back Joël Matip struck twice as FC Schalke 04 defeated Fortuna Düsseldorf. Elsewhere, FC Augsburg triumphed 2-1 in their encounter with TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, leapfrogging their opponents into 16th and cutting the gap to safety to nine points as VfB Stuttgart drew with 14th-placed 1. FC Nürnberg.
Two Didier Ya Konan goals helped Hannover 96 sink in-form Hamburger SV 5-1, while 1. FSV Mainz 05 drew 1-1 with VfL Wolfsburg.
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|Last updated: 28/02/2013 15:57 CET|
Matip 29, 81
De Bruyne 58
De Camargo 90+2
Van der Vaart 13 (P)
|1||FC Bayern München||23||60|
|3||Bayer 04 Leverkusen||22||41|
|8||1. FSV Mainz 05||23||33|
|9||FC Schalke 04||23||33|
|10||VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach||22||30|
|12||SV Werder Bremen||23||28|
|14||1. FC Nürnberg||23||27|
|17||TSG 1899 Hoffenheim||23||16|
|18||SpVgg Greuther Fürth||22||12|