posted on Mar, 5 2005 @ 04:39 PM
Next weekend's top-of-the-table showdown between Schalke and Bayern Munich was set up perfectly on Saturday when both teams won their respective
matches to pull clear of the chasing pack.
Bayern's 1-0 win at home to champions Werder Bremen, earned by an early Michael Ballack goal, left the third-placed title holders seven points off the
pace - although an injury that could rule Dutch striker Roy Makaay out of next week's Champions League clash with Arsenal muted their celebrations.
Schalke had Brazilian pair Ailton and Lincoln to thank for their 2-0 win at Bochum and remain level on points with Bayern who have the edge on goal
difference. The race for the Bundesliga crown is looking increasingly like a two-horse affair between Bayern and Schalke although next week's showdown
in Gelsenkirchen could provide another twist to the season.
Stuttgart are just a point behind Bremen following their 2-1 win at home to Arminia Bielefeld. Zvonimir Soldo and Jeronimo Cacau gave Stuttgart a 2-0
lead, rendering Isaac Boakye's goal for Arminia a mere consolation.
Fifth-placed Hamburg had Belgian defender Daniel van Buyten to thank for a 1-0 win at the expense of Bayer Leverkusen.
A late goal from Czech substitute Vaclav Sverkos gave Dick Advocaat's Borussia Monchengladbach an important win at home to Wolfsburg while Rade
Prica's goal gave Hansa Rostock a 1-0 victory at Hannover and lifted his team off the bottom.
All three of Rostock's wins have come away from the Ostseestadion while the new cellar dwellers are Freiburg who were thrashed 5-0 by fellow
strugglers Mainz. The hosts, who went into the game without having scored in 410 minutes, ended the drought in the 21st minute through Fabian Gerber.
Manuel Friedrich and Christoph Babatz (penalty) also got on the scoresheet before half-time before Antonio da Silva and Michael Thurk completed the
On Sunday Hertha Berlin play Kaiserslautern while Borussia Dortmund make the trip to Nurnberg.