Stuttgart seal points in second half
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Stuttgart scored three goals in 12 second-half minutes to move four points clear of the Bundesliga relegation zone with a 3-1 victory at Cologne.

Christian Trasch broke the deadlock in the 51st minute and Martin Harnik doubled the visitors' advantage two minutes later before Zdravko Kuzmanovic's 63rd-minute penalty made it 3-0.

Milivoje Novakovic pulled a goal back in the 69th minute but it was not enough for Cologne, who saw their eight-match winning home run ended.

The first half was lacking in clear-cut chances, with a 40th-minute free-kick from Stuttgart midfielder Tamas Hajnal - which was deflected just wide off the wall - the closest either side came.

The visitors had the first opportunity of the second period as well with Shinji Okazaki's header from six yards being cleared by the left foot of Cologne goalkeeper Michael Rensing in the 48th minute.

Stuttgart grabbed the lead three minutes later, Trasch picking up possession in midfield and moving towards the Cologne box before unleashing a fierce 25-yard blast into the top-right corner.

The advantage was 2-0 after 53 minutes when the Cologne defence were again caught napping. Serdar Tasci headed a cross into the path of Harnik, who poked home from five yards.

Stuttgart struck again ten minutes later from the spot, Kuzmanovic slotting into the bottom-right corner after Pedro Geromel was ruled to have handled the ball inside the box.

Novakovic made it 3-1 in the 69th minute when he converted substitute Christian Clemens' cross from the left.

The hosts pushed forward looking to further reduce the deficit in the closing stages, but Christian Eichner's long-range attempt flew just wide.