Bayer 04 Leverkusen moved seven points clear at the top of the 1. Bundesliga with a 2-0 win against 1. FC Köln.
Butt on target
Goalkeeper Hans-Jörg Butt put the home side ahead with a 13th-minute penalty before Lucio added a second 12 minutes later. Leverkusen's nearest rivals BV Borussia Dortmund play TSV 1860 München tomorrow.
Bayern hopes fade
Elsewhere, FC Bayern München's hopes of a fourth straight title were all but extinguished by SV Werder Bremen. The champions twice led through Claudio Pizarro and Roque Santa Cruz but equalisers from Ailton and Mladen Krstajic earned a point for Bremen. Bayern are now nine points adrift of Leverkusen.
Schalke go third
Meanwhile, FC Schalke 04 ousted Bayern from the third and final UEFA Champions League slot after beating Hamburger SV. Emile Mpenza thumped home a header on nine minutes before Ebbe Sand bundled the ball home from close range shortly before half time.
Relegation-threatened FC St. Pauli showed they will not be going down without a fight after drawing 1-1 with 1. FC Kaiserslautern. The Hamburg club refused to lie down despite the 19th-minute dismissal of Oliver Held.
Cassio Lincoln gave Kaiserslautern a 48th-minute lead, but Thomas Meggle levelled from the penalty spot 20 minutes later. An afternoon of frustration for the visitors was complete when Jeff Strasser was sent off two minutes from time.
Bizarre own goal
A bizarre own goal by FC Energie Cottbus keeper Tomislav Piplica handed VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach a share of the spoils in a 3-3 draw. Radoslaw Kaluzny's double looked to have ensured a win for the home side until the 82nd minute when Marcel Witeczek's shot was deflected goalwards; Piplica attempted to head the ball clear only to flick it into his own net.
Hansa overcome Nürnberg
Magnus Arvidsson's early goal for FC Hansa Rostock settled a poor game against fellow strugglers 1. FC Nürnberg. Antonio di Salvo crossed from the left and Arvidsson gave Nürnberg keeper Darius Kampa no chance from five metres.
Hertha move on up
Hertha BSC Berlin stepped up their bid for a European place with a 3-1 defeat of mid-table VfL Wolfsburg. Michael Hartmann put them ahead on 25 minutes and Michael Preetz added a second three minutes later to strengthen their hold on fifth place.
Marx makes his mark
Diego Klimowicz gave the home side hope when he pulled a goal back in the 36th minute, but Hertha reasserted their dominance after the restart when Thorben Marx struck.
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