A hat-trick by Mario
Gomez and two goals from Arjen Robben inspired Bayern Munich to
a 7-1 rout of Hoffenheim on Saturday while leaders Borussia
Dortmund were held 0-0 at lowly Augsburg.
Bayern's emphatic victory boosted their confidence ahead of
the Champions League round of 16 second leg against Basel in
midweek and gave them 51 points from 25 games.
Dortmund's draw ended an eight-match winning streak but also
equalled a club record of 19 consecutive games without defeat.
Gomez gave Bayern a fifth-minute lead when he pounced on a
weak clearance by goalkeeper Tom Starke, opening the floodgates as
the hosts looked to bounce back from last week's defeat by Bayer
Bayern scored four more times in the first half through
Gomez, a goal and a penalty from Dutchman Robben and Toni Kroos
as Hoffenheim kept losing possession deep in their own
Bundesliga top scorer Gomez notched his third goal of the
game with a header at the far post in the 48th minute to take
his league tally to 21 goals this season.
Franck Ribery made it 7-0 following a quick break before
former Hoffenheim player Luiz Gustavo put through his own net
with five minutes to go.
"We played ourselves into a trance and the goals were
absolutely delicious," Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes told
"The difference with our game against Leverkusen was that we
played well for 90 minutes and made the most of our chances."
There was more good news as midfielder Bastian
Schweinsteiger made his comeback from injury with a second-half
appearance as Bayern continue to chase a Bundesliga-German
Cup-Champions League treble.
Dortmund were shut out by a battling fourth from bottom
Augsburg side fighting to avoid relegation.
Kevin Grosskreutz missed the best chance for the champions
when his 60th-minute header was palmed wide by keeper Simon
Jentzsch and Augsburg's players celebrated wildly at the final
Third-placed Borussia Monchengladbach lost ground in the
title race, drawing 0-0 at home to second from bottom Freiburg
to drop three points behind Bayern.
Leverkusen, crushed 7-1 by Barcelona in the Champions League
in midweek, lost 3-2 at VfL Wolfsburg and remain in fifth place
on 40 points.
Cologne had two players sent off, including Lukas Podolski,
in the second half but held on for a 1-0 win over Hertha Berlin
who finished with 10 men after a bad-tempered game.
Mato Jajalo of Cologne received his marching orders in the
67th minute while Podolski, who denied media reports he had
agreed to join Arsenal at the end of the season, was sent off
for grabbing an opponent by the throat in the 76th.
Mohamed Zidan scored for the sixth consecutive game since
joining Mainz in the January transfer window to help them to a
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