Voronin keeps Hertha ahead
Andriy Voronin scored his eighth goal in six games to keep Hertha Berlin four points clear at the top of the Bundesliga with a 1-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen.
The 29-year-old is on loan from Premier League side Liverpool, but Hertha will be in no hurry to give the Ukrainian back after he followed up last week's hat trick against Energie Cottbus with the goal which claimed three points.
His strike after 50 minutes contained some good fortune after Leverkusen's Germany goalkeeper Rene Adler went to kick the ball away, but the ball rebounded off Voronin's chest into the net to claim his 11th goal in 20 games. Hertha's recent run has boosted attendance at Berlin's Olympic Stadium and a crowd of 58,753 saw the win over Leverkusen.
"We are very pleased with the 1-0 against Leverkusen - they are one of the best teams in Germany," said Hertha coach Lucien Favre. "They were better than us in the first half, we tried more after the break, but it was still very tight at the end."
After their UEFA Champions League heroics in midweek, when they sealed a 12-1 aggregate win over Sporting Lisbon, Bayern Munich are second as they had few problems beating ten-man Bochum 3-0 away from home.
"From our point of view, it is very pleasing that we travel home with this result," said Bayern coach Jurgen Klinsmann, who is waiting on the fitness of striker Miroslav Klose who limped off with an ankle injury. "It is good we picked up the three points and didn't fall behind Hertha. We hope things are OK with Miroslav, he has been bandaged and we hope it is nothing serious."
After an excellent first-half strike by Brazilian midfielder Ze Roberto after 34 minutes, things got worse for Bochum when French defender Marc Pfertzel was shown a straight red card for hauling down Bayern's Argentina striker Jose Ernesto Sosa when he was clean through on goal. Lukas Podolski missed the resulting penalty on 48 minutes.
Bayern extended their lead through a top-class goal from Germany defender Philipp Lahm on 60 minutes after some good work from midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger and then Martin Demichelis scored the third on 90 minutes.
Hoffenheim have now gone six games without a win after they were held to a 1-1 draw at midtable Eintracht Frankfurt. An early goal by Brazilian Carlos Eduardo after ten minutes was cancelled out by a header from Frankfurt's Michael Fink to leave Hoffenheim fourth but now six points off leaders Hertha.
There was a battle royale at Hanover as the home side drew 4-4 with Borussia Dortmund while Borussia Monchengladbach picked up their third win in four games to ease their relegation worries with a 4-2 win at Cologne. Meanwhile, Karlsruhe are now three points off the pace at the foot of the table after they were beaten 1-0 at home by Arminia Bielefeld.
On Friday, Brazilian striker Grafite scored a hat-trick to help VfL Wolfsburg beat Schalke 04 4-3 to put his side up to third as the hosts remain unbeaten this season.
But Wolfsburg coach Felix Magath was unimpressed about his team's credentials in the title race after they conceded three goals. "You could see we are not title candidates," said the ex-Bayern Munich boss, whose side have lost just five of their 24 games this season. "If you lead 3-1 and 4-2, you need to close the game down. Schalke exposed some of our weaknesses."
On Sunday, mid-table Werder Bremen host VfB Stuttgart while Hamburg at home to Energie Cottbus.