FC Bayern München bounced back from their UEFA Champions League exit with a crucial victory that keeps alive their hopes of reaching next year's competition.
Hope for Dortmund
Bayern were 2-1 winners over 1. FC Nürnberg and moved up to third after FC Schalke 04 went down 3-0 at SV Werder Bremen. Leaders Bayer 04 Leverkusen gave some hope to second-placed BV Borussia Dortmund by being held 1-1 at Hamburger SV.
In Nuremberg, Bayern, who were knocked out of Europe by Real Madrid CF on Wednesday, had two of their South American stars to thank for victory. Brazil striker Giovane Elber put them on the way in the 13th minute and Peruvian forward Claudio Pizarro seemingly made the game safe three minutes before half-time. However, Nürnberg hit back through Jacek Krzynowek's penalty in the 73rd minute but Bayern held on for a vital three points.
Alves strikes early
They are now third with 59 points from 31 matches, and are one point above Hertha BSC Berlin in fourth. Hertha moved up thanks to an early Alex Alves goal that ensured a 1-0 win at home over FC Hansa Rostock. Schalke dropped down to fifth after the 3-0 reverse in Bremen.
Neuville saves Leverkusen
Leverkusen, who reached the Champions League semi-finals on Tuesday, were held 1-1 in Hamburg. They are now on 66 points and five clear of Dortmund, who play away at 1. FC Kaiserslautern tomorrow. Hamburg actually took the lead after five minutes but German international Oliver Neuville levelled only eight minutes later.
More woe for Freiburg
Elsewhere today, TSV 1860 München were 5-2 winners over relegation-threatened SC Freiburg, VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach were beaten 2-0 at home by VfL Wolfsburg and 1. FC Köln saw off FC St. Pauli 2-1 in the battle between the bottom two clubs.