Bayern Munich moved three points clear of idle Schalke at the top of the Bundesliga, although they were made to work hard for the spoils at
second-bottom SC Freiburg.
Sebastian Deisler, given a rare start by Felix Magath, struck six minutes after half-time to give the Bavarian giants victory. Bayern were in festive
mood after dominating Arsenal in their midweek Champions League encounter, but Oliver Kahn had to be at his best to prevent their hosts from taking
the league. He pulled off a remarkable save to deny Soumaila Coulibaly after his 30-yard free-kick thunderbolt in the first half. Deisler's goal came
after Ze Roberto and Roy Makaay linked well. When the Dutch international Makaay squared the ball to Deisler, he wandered round Andreas Ibertsberger
and fired home from 20 yards on 51 minutes.
Werder Bremen, humiliated at home in the Champions League by Lyon, bounced back on Saturday with a 4-0 mauling of Bochum with all of the goals coming
in the second half. Defenders Valerien Ismael and Frank Baumann both scored in the first five minutes after the restart and further strikes from
Nelson Haedo-Valdez and Johan Micoud emphasised the superiority of the northerners.
Hertha Berlin strengthened their bid for playing in European football next season with a 4-1 triumph over Hamburg. Guiseppe Reina, Gilberto and
Marcelinho put Hertha on their way with first-half strikes. Hertha went down to 10 men when Yildiray Basturk was shown a red card in the 62nd minute,
and Sergej Barbarez scored for Hamburg a quarter of an hour later. But Gilberto's second goal nine minutes from time sealed the victory.
Borussia Dortmund eased their relegation worries with a 3-0 triumph over Mainz, Ebi Smolarek, Jan Koller and Lars Ricken scoring the goals. Dortmund,
who are facing serious financial troubles, are now 12 points above the bottom three.
Arminia Bielefeld broke the 30-point barrier for the season with a 3-1 home victory over fellow promoted side Nurnberg. Delron Buckley and Patrick
Owomoyela gave the hosts an early 2-0 lead before Marek Mintal pulled one back on the half-hour mark for the visitors. However, substitute Roberto
Pinto sealed Arminia4s second straight home win with a 72nd-minute strike.
Bottom club Hansa Rostock failed to claim all three points at home in a scoreless draw with Borussia Monchengladbach. The point for Dick Advocaat's
Gladbach leaves them six points clear of the relegation zone.
In a battle of mid-table sides, Wolfsburg had Facundo Quiroga sent off three minutes in the second half of their game at Kaiserslautern but held on
for a goalless draw.