A second-string Bayern Munich side recorded a comfortable 4-0 victory over Nuremberg, while Borussia Dortmund were also big winners.
Having seen his side clinch both the Bundesliga title and a place in the semi-finals of the Champions League in the preceding seven days, manager Jupp Heynckes understandably elected to rest a number of key players for Saturday’s Bavarian derby.
And it seemed to only demonstrate his side’s strength in depth as they netted three first-half goals courtesy of Jerome Boateng, Mario Gomez and Rafinha.
Reserve goalkeeper Tom Starke was finally called into action to save a penalty from Timmy Simons before Xherdan Shaqiri added a fourth goal as Bayern fired a warning in the direction of Champions League semi-final opponents Barcelona.
Bayern remain 20 points clear at the summit despite Dortmund’s 6-1 rout of bottom side of Greuther Fuerth at Trolli Arena.
Playing in front of Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho, ahead of their semi-final showdown in the Champion League, the visitors were indomitable.
German international Mario Goetze opened the scoring after just 12 minutes and Ilkay Gundogan and Jakub Blaszczykowski added goals before the half-hour mark.
Gundogan and Goetze both then doubled their respective tallies for the afternoon before half-time.
Edgar Prib managed to net a consolation goal for the hosts but substitute Robert Lewandowski restored Dortmund’s five-goal advantage late on, scoring in his 11th successive Bundesliga match.
In other results, relegation-threatened Hoffenheim claimed a crucial 2-1 win at Wolfsburg, Hamburg accounted for Mainz in their mid-table encounter, while lowly Fortuna Duesseldorf played out an entertaining 2-2 draw with fellow strugglers Werder Bremen.
More to follow …
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