Berlin, Feb 24 (IANS) Front-runners Bayern Munich stretched their lead on top following an assertive 6-1 win over Bremen while Hamburg suffered a heavy 1-5 loss to Hannover at the 23rd round of Bundesliga.
Mario Gomez donated two goals to Bayern's goal festival over 10-men Bremen to wrap up the 19th win of the season and the sixth consecutive win in 2013 Saturday. The 'Bavarians' immediately took control after kick-off as deep defending Bremen showed no sign to press forward, reports Xinhua.
Bremen staged a well-positioned defence but with 25 minutes into the game Bayern broke the deadlock as Phillip Lahm crossed from the rightwing into the box to see Arjen Robben, who volleyed home from close range. Four minutes later Bayern doubled the lead through Javi Martinez who headed home a Robben free-kick.
Bremen's situation worsened just before the break as Sebastian Proedl was penalised with a straight red card following a professional foul on Gomez. Four minutes into second half Bayern started where they left as they made it 3-0 owing to the own goal by Bremen's Theodor Gebre Selassie after a failed clearance attempt.
The little resistance by the visitors invited Bayern to score their fourth goal as Gomez utilised Franck Ribery's lob to tap in from close. With 58 minutes into the encounter, Bremen were able to beat Manuel Neuer for the first time in 2013. Kevin de Bruyne made use of Aleksandar Ignjovskis' pass to score their consolation.
Bayern's were still were not done with scoring. Lahm assisted Frank Ribery in the 86th minute to make it 5-1 and Mario Gomez made it six with one minute remaining. Thus, Bayern extended their lead to 18 points to chasers Dortmund whereas Bremen suffered their second loss in row to drop to 12th with 28 points.
Elsewhere, Hannover humiliated Hamburg 5-1 thanks to the brace by Dider Ya Konan at the Northern derby. Hannover caught the visitors flat-footed with seven minutes into the match as Szabolcs Husztis cross into the box found Mame Biram Diouf, who headed home the opener.
Hamburg needed six minutes to ensure parity as Rafael van der Vaart converted a penalty into top left following a foul play by Johan Djourou to Dennis Aogo.
Hannover reclaimed the lead (2-1) through Huszti who converted a penalty after Hamburg keeper Rene Adler had brought down Sergio da Silva Pinto in the 39th minute. Just before the break, Hannover's Dider Ya Konan made it 3-1.
Hamburg pressed in the second half but that remained unfruitful as only Hannover scored goals. Ya Konan sealed his brace (68th) and Mohammed Abdelloue sealed the win in the 85th minute.
Hannover climbed to seventh with 33 points whereas Hamburg suffered their ninth loss of the season to stay on sixth (34 points).
Elsewhere, Joel Matip's brace secured Schalke a 2-1 win over newly promoted Dusseldorf.
Augsburg defeated struggling Hoffenheim 2-1 at the relegation battle thanks to the goals by Ji Dong Won and Sascha Moelders.
Nuremberg's Markus Feulner denied Stuttgart the victory owing to his late 1-1 equaliser and Mainz shared points with Wolfsburg after a 1-1 draw.