Bayern Munich, who went behind against Eintracht Frankfurt and struggled for periods, hit back mainly thanks to a double by Italian striker Luca Toni to notch up a 3-1 away victory and restore their 10-point advantage at the top of the German league on Wednesday.
Bayern look set to earn their 21st league title with just five matches to go.
Ottmar Hitzfeld’s men, who beat Borussia Dortmund 5-0 on Sunday, had a poor first half despite the return of France international Franck Ribery who had been rested at the weekend.
However Ribery, like the whole of the Bayern team, did not play up to the usual high standard against more focused and motivated opponents.
Eintracht went ahead after a superb move which concluded with a Benjamin Koehler header who made the most of both Brazilian Lucio and Frenchman Willy Sagnol failing to mark him.
Frankfurt almost went two goals to the good before the break but Ioannis Amanatidis failed to find the target though Bayern’s defence, and Michael Rensing who replaced number one keeper Oliver Kahn, had been put on the back foot.
Bayern looked to have more stability in the second half when Lukas Podolski came on and they equalised with half an hour to go from a header by Belgian international defender Daniel Van Buyten.
Frankfurt were under a great deal of pressure in their goalmouth but Rensing made some good saves.
Ribery went off midway through the half but from then on it was all Bayern as Italian World Cup winning striker Toni got two more goals, for his 19th of the season, to seal what might prove to be a crucial victory in the season run-in.
Hitzfeld said afterwards: “We had a lot of luck today because Frankfurt could have led 2-0 and perhaps even deserved to win this match but we came back well after the break.”
More good news for Bayern was that Borussia Dortmund, whom they face in Saturday’s German Cup final, had a major setback in losing 3-1 at home to Hanover.
On Tuesday, second-placed Werder Bremen won 2-1 at Hansa Rostock, three days after thrashing third-placed Schalke 04 5-1.
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.
Schalke 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.
Fourth-placed Hamburg 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.
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