Defending champions Bayern Munich opened a seven-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga as Thomas Muller netted a hat-trick in their 4-0 romp at Eintracht Frankfurt.
With main rivals Wolfsburg and Borussia Monchengladbach playing Sunday, Pep Guardiola’s Bayern made sure of their eighth win in 11 league games to pull clear of the chasing pack. Having been rested for Wednesday’s 2-0 home win over Roma which confirmed Bayern’s place in the UEFA Champions League’s last 16 as group winners, Muller opened the scoring in Frankfurt when he converted a Franck Ribery pass at the second attempt on the 23rd minute.
The 25-year-old then boosted his tally with two goals in three minutes after converting another Ribery pass after the Frenchman sprinted though the defence with Poland striker Robert Lewandowski also queueing up to score on 64 minutes. Muller bagged his third to leave him with nine goals in all competitions and the league’s joint top scorer when he finished off a move from a quick Ribery throw-in to claim his sixth Bundesliga goal. Xherdan Shaqiri grabbed Bayern’s fourth on 86 minutes after fellow second-half replacement Arjen Robben had pulled the Frankfurt defence to pieces to leave the Swiss winger to tap into an empty net.
Werder Bremen can move off the bottom, and leave last season’s runners-up Borussia Dortmund last before hosting third-placed Borussia Monchengladbach on Sunday, with just a point at Stuttgart on Saturday evening.
Hoffenheim dropped to fifth after a lively 4-3 defeat at home to Cologne with Nigeria striker Anthony Ujah netting his third goal of the season for the visitors and Poland defender Pawel Olkowski scoring twice, including the 83rd-minute winner.
Leverkusen, who won 2-1 at Zenit St. Petersburg on Tuesday to stay top of their Champions League group, were held to a goalless draw at home to Mainz and drop to sixth having suffered a shock 1-0 league defeat at Hamburg last weekend.
Robert di Matteo suffered his second consecutive defeat as Schalke coach when his side lost 2-0 at Freiburg, who pulled clear of the relegation places to move up to 13th with Christian Gunter and Jonathan Schmid scoring their goals.
The 44-year-old Di Matteo has now lost three and won three of his six games since taking charge of the Royal Blues last month and his side drop to 11th in the table exactly where they were when he took charge. Augsburg moved up to seventh with a 3-0 win at mid-table Paderborn as midfielder Tobias Werner scoring twice.