Birthday boy Robben sends Bayern top
Bayern Munich moved to the top of the table by edging a five-goal thriller at Werder Bremen on Saturday to secure their sixth successive win. Aaron Hunt put Bremen ahead in the tenth minute, but Bayern responded with goals from Thomas Muller and Ivica Olic to take a deserved lead at the break.
The Bavarians missed chance after chance and were punished when Hugo Almeida levelled in the 75th minute, but Arjen Robben sealed three points for the visitors three minutes later. Robben's stunning free-kick gave the Holland talent his fifth league goal of the season on his 26th birthday.
"I am a very happy coach," beamed Bayern coach Louis van Gaal. "Werder Bremen took a few risks and we exploited them this time. I liked that we played with so much aggression, but we didn't take all the chances we created."
Bayern leapfrogged Schalke, who passed up the chance to move top as they conceded two goals in the final eight minutes, including a stoppage-time equaliser, to draw 2-2 at local rivals Bochum. Vicente Sanchez gave Schalke the lead after just five minutes and Kevin Kuranyi made it 2-0 in the 42nd minute.
Vahid Hashemian pulled a goal back for Bochum in the 82nd minute - the first goal Felix Magath's side had leaked in five games - and Stanislav Sestak shocked the visitors with the leveller two minutes into added time. Schalke moved level on points with Bayer Leverkusen, who visit Hoffenheim today, and one behind Bayern.
At the other end of the table Hertha Berlin goalkeeper Jaroslav Drobny saved a penalty late in the first half as the basement boys fought hard for a goalless draw against Borussia Monchengladbach. Drobny dived to parry Juan Arango's low spot-kick and then denied the Venezuelan again from the rebound three yards out after Arne Friedrich had fouled Roberto Colautti. Hertha have still not won at home in eight games, but improved to ten points, eight adrift of safety, while Monchengladbach are in 12th place.
Nuremberg cut the gap to safety to five points by halting a run of five successive Bundesliga defeats with a point at home to European hopefuls Eintracht Frankfurt. Christian Eigler fired the home side in front midway through the first half, only for Benjamin Kohler to bring Eintracht back on level terms before the interval.
Dour debut for Slomka
Hannover remained a point behind 15th-placed Freiburg after Mirko Slomka's coaching debut ended with a 1-0 defeat at Mainz. Andre Schuerrle scored the only goal of the contest after just four minutes as Thomas Tuchel's side maintained their unbeaten home record.
In Saturday’s late kick-off, Borussia Dortmund beat Hamburg 1-0 to climb above their opponents into fourth place. Nelson Valdez scored the only goal of the match in the 36th minute.