Bayern blitz Bremen, Hanover roll Hamburg
Bayern Munich rested half a dozen stars but still romped to a 6-1 win at home to ten-man Werder Bremen on Saturday to go 18 points clear at the top of the Bundesliga. Bayern boss Jupp Heynckes celebrated his 1000th Bundesliga game as a player and coach by making six changes from the team that won 3-1 at Arsenal in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday.
Munich were ahead after 25 minutes when Arjen Robben won the race with Franck Ribery to convert Philipp Lahm's cross for the opener. The next goal came just four minutes later when Robben's free-kick was headed home by Javi Martinez. To make matters worse for Bremen, centre-back Sebastian Proedl was shown a straight red card for bringing down Gomez, who was through on goal, a minute before the break.
Things did not improve in the second half when Bremen's left-back Theodor Gebre Selassie turned the ball into his own net on 49 minutes, then Gomez grabbed his first and Bayern's fourth just two minutes later. Belgium midfielder Kevin de Bruyne, on loan at Bremen from Chelsea, pulled a goal back for Werder approaching the hour mark, but Bremen's defence capitulated late on as Ribery, then Gomez, added goals in the last five minutes.
Elsewhere in Germany, South Korean striker Ji Dong-Won scored his first goal in six appearances for strugglers Augsburg since joining from Sunderland in January in his team's 2-1 win at home to Hoffenheim. Striker Sascha Moelders added a second on 79 minutes to seal only Augsburg's third win of the season and they move up to 16th in the league, nine points from safety, while Hoffenheim drop to 17th and deeper in the relegation mire.
Hanover bounced back from their midweek UEFA Europa League exit at the hands of Russia's Anzhi Makhachkala with a 5-1 win over guests Hamburg to move up to seventh. Ivory Coast's Didier Ya Konan, playing on the right wing, scored twice including a superb volley from 20 metres out just before the break.
Wolfsburg earned a 1-1 draw at Mainz despite playing with ten men for 60 minutes after centre-back Alexander Madlung was shown an early red card for pulling back Mainz's Nicolai Muelle. Nuremberg earned a 1-1 draw at Stuttgart to stay 14th and just above the relegation place.
Later, Schalke built on Wednesday's 1-1 Champions League draw at Galatasaray with a 2-1 victory at home to strugglers Fortuna Dusseldorf, giving the Royal Blues' only their second league win since mid-November.