An early double from the returning Robert Lewandowski helped Borussia Dortmund overcome Hannover 96 3-1 at BVB Stadion Dortmund.
With league leaders FC Bayern München in action on Sunday, Jürgen Klopp's side knew a win would shave some points off their rivals' lead and put pressure on Bayern to maintain their fine form. Polish international striker Lewandowski had not featured in the Bundesliga since he was sent off against Hamburger SV on 9 February, but he sent Dortmund on their way with an eighth-minute opener.
Shortly after he turned in a rebound from a Ron-Robert Zieler save to give the hosts control, and although Mohammed Abdellaoue exploited a defensive mix-up to pull one back before the break, Julian Schieber wrapped up the points.
In the pick of the matches elsewhere, FC Schalke 04 triumphed 4-1 at VfL Wolfsburg for their biggest win in the league since they hosted the same team in early October. Schalke starlet Julian Draxler scored either side of an Ivica Olić effort, before Jefferson Farfán and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar both registered.
Meanwhile, two goals in the last eight minutes from Stefan Kiessling and Lars Bender ensured third-placed Bayer 04 Leverkusen vanquished VfB Stuttgart 2-1 in the day's late kick-off.
SV Werder Bremen lost 1-0 at home against FC Augsburg, while 1. FC Nürnberg v SC Freiburg and Hamburger SV v SpVgg Greuther Fürth both ended 1-1.
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|Last updated: 08/04/2013 13:22 CET|
Ibišević 12 (P)
Simons 33 (P)
L. de Jong 22
|Venue: Frankfurt am Main|
|1||FC Bayern München||23||60|
|3||Bayer 04 Leverkusen||24||45|
|6||FC Schalke 04||24||36|
|8||VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach||24||34|
|9||1. FSV Mainz 05||23||33|
|12||1. FC Nürnberg||24||28|
|13||SV Werder Bremen||24||28|
|17||TSG 1899 Hoffenheim||23||16|
|18||SpVgg Greuther Fürth||24||14|