Second-placed Werder Bremen won 2-1 at Hansa Rostock on Tuesday night to reduce their deficit to seven points behind leaders Bayern Munich in the German league.
Bayern travel to Eintracht Frankfurt on Wednesday with the chance of restoring the 10-point advantage.
Three days after thrashing third-placed Schalke 04, Werder came up against a hardworking Rostock who are battling to avoid relegation.
Germany international Torsten Frings opened the scoring with a 57th minute shot for his first league goal since November 2006 but Rostock drew level in the 76th minute through Sebastian Haehnge.
Bremen got the winner with eight minutes to go however. A penalty kick was saved by the Rostock keeper but the ball fell nicely to Ivan Klasnic who made no mistake with the rebound.
Werder have really come back into form following a poor March with three victories in a row – two of them away from home – however unless Bayern severely slip up the best they can realistically hope for is second spot.
“The main thing was to get the three points, not necessarily to play beautiful football,” said Frings, who is nearly back to his best level after a season curtailed by a recurring right knee injury.
However Bremen are only two points ahead of third-placed Schalke who showed their fighting spirit with a 5-1 win over lowly Energie Cottbus, including four goals from Kevin Kuranyi.
It was hard to say if the Ruhr club had benefited from the axing of coach Mirko Slomka, and the fielding of two interim coaches, or whether it was merely the poor showing of Cottbus.
Kuranyi, who had been out of form since the beginning of the year and had not been on good terms with Slomka, has certainly regained his form in front of goal.
Kuranyi said afterwards: “It was great to score four goals but I’m also happy with the football we played today. We were in fighting mood and gelled well as a team. It was important to find our feet again after the Bremen defeat.”
And Mike Buskens, one of Schalke’s two stand-in coaches, said: “We tried to speak with the players a lot since our arrival by telling them ‘You have had a lot of pressure these last few days, but football is above all about enjoying yourself.'”
Fourth-placed Hamburg, 12 points behind Bayern, could only get one point following their goalless draw at Hertha Berlin but would have won if Ivica Olic had not messed up his penalty kick.
The northern point club could even be ousted from fourth spot by Bayer Leverkusen should they win at Arminia Bielefeld on Wednesday.
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