FC Bayern München extended their lead at the top of the 1. Bundesliga to eight points with a 3-0 win at VfB Stuttgart as SV Werder Bremen were held at FC Schalke 04.
Alexander Zickler headed Bayern's opening goal after 30 minutes at the Gottlieb-Daimler-Stadion before Roque Santa Cruz scored in the 34th and 69th minutes to complete an emphatic win.
It was an excellent day for Bayern as nearest rivals Bremen could only manage a 1-1 draw at fourth-placed Schalke. Markus Daun gave Bremen the lead after three minutes, but Ebbe Sand levelled for the Gelsenkirchen outfit four minutes later.
It was a welcome goal for Danish striker Sand who was the only man to miss from the spot as Schalke lost a penalty shoot-out to Bayern in the German Cup on Wednesday night.
Bremen dropped to third place, behind BV Borussia Dortmund on goal difference, after Dortmund earned a 3-1 home win against second-bottom 1. FC Kaiserslautern. The visitors looked good for a point after José Dominguez cancelled out Tomasz Klos's early own-goal, but substitute Marcio Amoroso scored in the 74th and 77th minutes to secure an important home victory for last season's champions.
Joy for Leverkusen
Bayer 04 Leverkusen put on a performance more akin to their form of last season when they reached the UEFA Champions League final as they thrashed TSV 1860 München 3-0 away from home. Goals from Daniel Bierofka, Dimitar Berbatov and Oliver Neuville gave Klaus Toppmöller's side a big win which lifted them just one place to 12th but should raise morale around the club.
Ten-man FC Energie Cottbus, who had Timo Rost sent off, snatched a 2-2 draw at 1. FC Nürnberg when substitute Lars Jungnickel scored in the 86th minute. It was a welcome point for bottom club Cottbus who now trail second-bottom Kaiserslautern on goal difference alone.
DSC Arminia Bielefeld climbed above FC Hansa Rostock and into eleventh place with a 3-0 home win, secured by a double from Artur Wichniarek and a third from Sebastian Reinhardt. Hertha BSC Berlin were denied a morale-boosting win against VfL Wolfsburg by Kim Madsen's stoppage-time equaliser which forced a 2-2 draw.
©Press Association 2001-2010. All rights reserved.