Bayern hit Hoffenheim with seven
Bayern Munich showed they have not given up on the Bundesliga title yet with an emphatic 7-1 victory at home over Hoffenheim.
Four days ahead of their decisive UEFA Champions League last-16 tie with Basel, Bayern hit top form with Mario Gomez scoring a hat-trick, although, he did limp off the field later on. Arjen Robben scored twice, one from the penalty spot, and both Toni Kroos and Franck Ribery got in on the act as Hoffenheim succumbed to their first defeat under Markus Babbel.
It was also a Bayern player who got on the scoresheet for Hoffenheim's consolation late on, with Luis Gustavo putting through his own net in the 85th minute. The victory provisionally saw Jupp Heynckes' men close the gap on league leaders Borussia Dortmund to four points ahead of the pacesetters' trip to Augsburg tonight.
Bayern began the rout in the fifth minute. Thomas Muller was put in down the right and his cross was pushed out by Tom Starke, but Gomez was in the right place to turn the rebound high into the roof of the net.
Their second came from the penalty spot in the 12th minute. Philipp Lahm was in the area looking to pounce on a loose ball and he was tripped by Sebastian Rudy with Robben sending Starke the wrong way from the spot.
Kroos did not look to be posing any particular danger 20 yards from goal in the 18th minute, but he struck his shot well as the Hoffenheim defence stood back, and the ball beat Starke low inside his near post to make it three.
The fourth goal was equally easy for Robben as Bayern broke with three against two and Ribery threaded the ball through to the Dutchman, who ignored Muller to his left and took the ball round Starke himself to score into the empty net. The embarrassment turned to humiliation for Hoffenheim in the 35th minute when Ribery's cross was headed in from five yards out by Gomez to make it 5-0.
Hoffenheim clearly had not learned from their first-half mistakes as Gomez headed Bayern's sixth just three minutes into the second half. Again, he was left completely alone to meet Robben's corner, completing his hat-trick with a header from five yards.
Ribery gestured to Gomez that he wanted the next goal, and he got it in the 58th minute. Robben put him through early and the Frenchman rounded Starke before slotting his shot inside the near post. Heynckes was able to give a limping Gomez and Muller a break as Bayern eased off in the closing stages, although they were a little too casual as Luis Gustavo slipped to let in Ryan Babel before recovering ground only to shoot past his own goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.