FC Bayern München are edging nearer to a 23rd Bundesliga title following a devastating 9-2 victory over Hamburger SV.
Indeed, had two-time defending champions Borussia Dortmund not won 2-1 away against ten-man VfB Stuttgart, Bayern would have sealed the crown with seven fixtures remaining. Twenty points adrift of Bayern at the summit, Dortmund were not ready to surrender the title just yet, and took the lead in Stuttgart through Łukasz Piszczek's header. Alexandru Maxim equalised, shortly before Stuttgart lost Georg Niedermaier to a second yellow card, and Robert Lewandowski struck for his ninth game running late on.
Bayern's win was much more straightforward, once Xherdan Shaquiri's low rocket had put them into a fifth-minute lead. Bastian Schweinsteiger headed another before Bayern surged. An Arjen Robben double and four for Claudio Pizarro blew the visitors away, and Franck Ribéry also claimed his 50th league goal in Bayern colours.
Jupp Heynckes, the Bayern coach, said: "You can see the players are enjoying their football, the movement is very good, and the passing too. We played our way out of our opponents' pressing game very well. It was important for our confidence today. We played textbook football at times, and that's basically what we have to do on Tuesday [against Juventus]."
In the pick of games elsewhere, Stefan Kiessling and André Schürrle each hit two as Bayer 04 Leverkusen beat Fortuna Düsseldorf to consolidate third, while FC Schalke 04 rose to third after three goals in the last 18 minutes sank TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.
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|Last updated: 03/04/2013 13:06 CET|
Rausch 61, 90+1
Schwaab 41 (o.g.)
Kruse 69, 90+2
|1||FC Bayern München||27||72|
|3||Bayer 04 Leverkusen||27||48|
|4||FC Schalke 04||27||42|
|5||1. FSV Mainz 05||27||39|
|8||VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach||27||38|
|11||1. FC Nürnberg||26||34|
|13||SV Werder Bremen||27||31|
|17||TSG 1899 Hoffenheim||27||20|
|18||SpVgg Greuther Fürth||26||15|