Werder Bremen moved into UEFA Champions League qualification contention courtesy of a 5-1 home defeat of FC Schalke 04, while Hamburger SV extended their winless run to four Bundesliga matches.
With FC Bayern München clear at the summit, the quest for the two remaining places in next season's competition remains wide open. Frank Baumann and Boubacar Sanogo put Bremen 2-0 up in the first half and although Kevin Kuranyi pulled one back before the break, a 58th-minute Markus Rosenberg effort and two Ivan Klasnić goals took Bremen up two places into second, ahead of Schalke and Hamburg, beaten 1-0 at home by struggling MSV Duisburg. The two sides immediately below Hamburg, Bayer 04 Leverkusen and VfB Stuttgart, meet on Sunday.
Duisburg's success moves the Zebras off the bottom but they remain in the relegation zone, while DSC Arminia Bielefeld - fourth bottom at kick-off - slip into trouble following a 1-0 loss at FC Energie Cottbus. FC Hansa Rostock, for whom Fin Bartels scored twice in a 2-1 triumph at Karlsruher SC, moved out of danger and up to 15th.
Elsewhere, VfL Bochum 1848 drew 1-1 at home against Hertha BSC Berlin, while Hannover 96 consolidated their mid-table position with a 2-1 victory against visiting Eintracht Frankfurt. VfL Wolfsburg, who are one place above Eintracht in seventh, drew 0-0 at bottom side 1. FC Nürnberg on Friday night.
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