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Bayern Bounce Back

Bayern Munich recorded a thumping 7-1 victory against Hoffenheim at the Allianz-Arena to bounce back from last weekend’s disappointing 2-0 reverse at Beyer Leverkusen and boost confidence ahead of this week’s crucial UEFA Champions League last-sixteen second leg against FC Basel.

The Bavarians stormed out of the blocks, racking up three goals inside twenty minutes and seven before the hour mark. Mario Gomez opened the scoring in only the 5th minute and Arjen Robben doubled the advantage from the penalty spot in the 12th minute. Toni Kroos put the result beyond doubt six minutes later with the first of three goals set up by Franck Ribery. The Frenchman was also the provider for second strikes from Robben and Gomez in the 29th and 35th minutes respectively. Mario Gomez completed his hat-trick shortly after the interval and Ribery finally got his own name on the scoresheet in the 58th minute.

Bayern took their foot off the gas at 7-0 and spared Hoffenheim further punishment, even contributing an own goal courtesy of Luiz Gustavo in the 85th minute to give the visitors something to cheer. With Gomez, Robben and Ribery suddenly hitting top form, Bayern will expect to overturn their 1-0 deficit against Basel and the scoreline will serve as a reminder to Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund that the title race isn’t quite over yet.

Elsewhere, there were home wins for a trio of teams in the bottom half. Wolfsburg came from behind to pile on the misery for a Bayer Leverkusen side still reeling from their spectacular midweek capitulation against a Lionel Messi inspired Barcelona. Stefan Kiessling had given Bayer an early lead but Patrick Helmes cancelled it out and Ashkan Dejagah put Wolfsburg ahead on the stroke of half time. An own goal from Michal Kadlec wrapped up the points for Wolfsburg despite a late consolation goal from substitute Eren Derdiyok to make it 3-2.

Mainz 05 ran out 2-1 winners at home to Nurnberg thanks to first half goals from Nicolai Muller and Mohamed Zidan. Nurnberg fought back after the interval but could only muster a solitary reply from Daniel Didavi despite Adam Szalai’s late dismissal. Koln won a bad-tempered encounter with Hertha BSC 1-0 with a first half goal from Christian Clemens. Three dismissals in the second period saw the home side finish with nine men as substitute Mato Jajalo and Lukas Podolski saw red with Levan Kobiashvili of Hertha joining them for an early bath, so to speak.

The other game of the afternoon saw third placed Borussia Moenchengladbach fail to close the gap on the leaders with a 0-0 stalemate against struggling Freiburg, who remain in the relegation places.

VFB Stuttgart also played out a goalless draw against Kaiserslautern on Friday night and the late game on Saturday sees leaders Dortmund visit Augsburg. Sundays fixtures see Hannover 96 travel to Werder Bremen and Hamburger SV visit Schalke 04.

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