Bayer 04 Leverkusen are back at the head of the Bundesliga standings after surging to a 3-0 triumph at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, their fortunes standing in stark contrast to those of champions VfL Wolfsburg, who lost 3-2 at home to 1. FC Köln.
Jupp Heynckes's Leverkusen watched as FC Bayern München rose to the top on Saturday but they calmly responded at mid-table Hoffenheim thanks in large part to Bayern loanee Toni Kroos. Still unbeaten after 19 games this term, the visitors went ahead when Sami Hyypiä headed in a Kroos centre with just 11 minutes gone, and the midfielder buried the second himself six minutes after the break. Swiss international Tranquillo Barnetta then collected another Kroos service to seal the result 19 minutes from time and restore Leverkusen's two-point cushion.
At the opposite end of the table, Köln eased their relegation concerns with a hard-fought success that lifted them to 13th in the table, four points from danger. Hosts Wolfsburg were looking to end a run of six league games without victory but found themselves trailing after just seven minutes, Kevin Pezzoni putting Köln ahead just as Sebastian Freis then did on 57 minutes following Christian Gentner's 22nd-minute equaliser. Ricardo Costa fired the titleholders back on level terms two minutes after Freis's effort, but Adil Chihi beat the offside trap with 16 minutes remaining to decide the outcome and leave Wolfsburg tenth.
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