Wolfsburg fall as race tightens
Germany striker Mario Gomez scored all four goals in Stuttgart's 4-1 win over leaders Wolfsburg to blow the title race wide open. With Bayern Munich, Hertha Berlin and Stuttgart all picking up three points with wins, there are now just two points separating the top four sides in the league with only three games left. And it could be five teams just two points apart if Hamburg beat Werder Bremen on 10 May, with the title almost certain to be decided on 23 May, the last day of the season.
Gomez is now the league's joint top-scorer alongside Wolfsburg's Brazilian striker Grafite, with the pair on 23 goals after Gomez's quartet sealed the 4-1 win. Stuttgart took the lead after just 30 seconds when Gomez beat Wolfsburg goalkeeper Diego Benaglio with a header into the top left of the net.
And the home side doubled their lead on 20 minutes when midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger found striker Cacau with a perfectly-timed long-ball and the Brazilian drew Benaglio to give Gomez a simple tap in for his second. Wolfsburg pulled a goal back when Edin Dzeko hit his 20th goal of the season on 36 minutes, but Gomez completed his hat-trick on 63 minutes and could hardly believe his luck when the fourth went in on 76 minutes.
Elsewhere, defending champions Bayern Munich drew level with Wolfsburg on 60 points and are only second on goal difference after their 3-1 win at Energie Cottbus. French midfielder star Franck Ribery, who was linked with a Manchester United transfer last week, was left on the bench, but Bayern took the lead through Argentina striker Jose Ernesto Sosa on 23 minutes.
Cottbus midfielder Ivica Iliev equalised on 44 minutes, but Bayern went ahead on 62 minutes when Argentina defender Martin Demichelis headed home a Lukas Podolski corner. A late goal from Podolski sealed the 3-1 win, but in injury time Ribery missed a late penalty.
And Hertha Berlin's 2-0 win at home to strugglers Bochum puts them just a point away from the leaders. They took the lead at Berlin's Olympic Stadium when midfielder Patrick Ebert flicked a cross into Marko Pantelic who headed home on 39 minutes. And Lucien Favre's Berlin kept themselves in the title race when Brazilian striker Raffael slotted home their second on 50 minutes.
Dortmund's seventh consecutive win sealed a 4-0 victory over Karlsruhe and means they have made a late bid for the title as they move into fifth and could now claim a European place for next season. Hoffenheim ended their 12-game winless streak with a 2-0 victory over Cologne as Eintracht Frankfurt and Hannover drew 1-1. And Arminia Bielefeld gave themselves a good chance of surviving relegation with a 2-2 draw at Bayer Leverkusen on 8 May.