RECAP: WEEKEND GERMAN ACTION
Steve Cherundolo and Hannover were able to hang onto their fourth-place standing with a win over Freiburg while Jermaine Jones lasted only one half as Schalke took a huge step backwards against Kaiserslautern.
Hannover 96 3 - 0 SC Freiburg
Steve Cherundolo captained Hannover for the full game and DaMarcus Beasley played the final six minutes of the game as a late substitute as the Reds put in an impressive performance in their win over Freiburg on Saturday.
Daniel Williams was included on Freiburg's bench, however sat as an unused substitute throughout the proceedings.
Hannover needed just 15 minutes to jump into the lead, as Didier Ya Konan stormed up the right with a darting run before dropping a short pass to the middle for Jan Schlaudraff to hit low past keeper Oliver Baumann.
A resilient Freiburg team kept the game close until the Reds effectively put the game out of reach with 17 minute left, this time with Schlaudraff getting behind the Freiburg defense and slipping the ball over to Ya Konan at the last instant to easily tap in for the two-goal lead.
Ya Konan turned provider for Hannover's final act, picking up a weak clearance from a Freiburg defender in the 89th minute and working his way into the middle before sliding a short pass for Mike Hanke to blast over the line for the final 3-0 score.
Hannover remain in fourth place, one behind Bayer Leverkusen and two ahead of fifth-place Bayern. They will look to continue their strong play on Saturday when they visit reeling last-place Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Freiburg drop to eighth place, and will next host Hamburger SV on Saturday.
FC Kaiserslautern 5 - 0 FC Schalke 04
Jermaine Jones lasted for only the first half of play on Saturday for Schalke, missing most of the carnage as they were blown out at Kaiserslautern.
Jones, who received a first-half yellow card, was pulled from the game at halftime by head coach Felix Magath in favor of Joel Matip.
After posting up a strong win over Lyon in midweek Champions League action, the afternoon got off to a bad start for the Königsblauen when Srdjan Lakic headed in an eighth-minute corner from Christian Tiffert.
Tiffert was again the instigator with six minutes left in the half as he sent in another corner, this time for Martin Amedick to head past Manuel Neuer, then grabbed his third assist of the game 11 minutes into the second half as he freed Lakic with a through-ball behind the Schalke defenders, which the Croatian striker had no problems to put away for 3-0.
Lakic continued to be a danger, setting up Kaiserslautern's fourth goal when he was tripped up by Christoph Metzelder in the area with 14 minutes left, with Ivo Ilicevic converting the subsequent spot kick.
The Red Devils added the final insult with two minutes left, this time with Florian Dick sending in a cross from the right which Ivo Moravek had no problems to put past Neuer with his powerful header.
Schalke remain in 15th place, one point out of the relegation zone. They will try to regroup and regain some of their recent momentum on Saturday when they host surging Bayern.
Borussia Dortmund 4 - 1 Borussia Mönchengladbach
Michael Bradley played the full game for the Foals on Saturday, but could do little to halt first-place Dortmund's four-goal onslaught.
After both teams saw close chances go unrewarded during opening half-hour, Gladbach opened the scoring in the 33rd minute on a counter-attack, when Patrick Hermann found Marco Reus with a long cross-field pass from near the center stripe.
Reus maintained possession as he stormed to the top of the Dortmund box and blasted his shot from 22 yards out just out of the reach of keeper Roman Weidenfeller.
Dortmund equalized in first-half injury time, with Neven Subotic heading in a corner from Mario Götze.
Götze then set up the team's second goal in the 52nd minute with a precision through-ball to Shinji Kakawa who rounded Christofer Heimroth on the right side of the six-yard box before poking the ball over the line.
Kevin Großkreutz netted a third for Dortmund with 13 minutes remaining when he was the beneficiary of a nifty back-heel from Lucas Barrios, then the Paraguayan international added a fourth with two minutes left when the Gladbach defense fell asleep and allowed Antonio da Silva to spring him unabated into a one-on-one with Heimroth.
Gladbach remain in last place with the loss and the league's worst goal differential, with a three-point gap to safety. They next host Hannover on Saturday, who will come in riding a three-game winning streak.
Hertha Berlin 0 - 2 MSV Duisburg
David Yelldell was his usual steady self in Duisburg's goal, pitching a shut-out to help the team move within reach of the 2. Bundesliga's top spot with an impressive win at Hertha.
After a scoreless opening half largely dominated by the Zebras, Duisburg jumped ahead seven minutes into the second half when a shot by Filip Trojan off the bar was cleaned up and put away by Olcay Sahan.
The Zebras secured the three points with five minutes left in regulation when Sahan held the ball at the edge of Hertha's area long enough for Srdjan Baljak to run into position, receive the ball and fire it past keeper Marco Sejna.
The win moves Duisburg up into second place, now just one behind Aue, who began to show their cracks in a 6-0 blowout loss to Cottbus. The Zebras have the chance to move into the league lead on Friday afternoon when they host sixth-place FSV Frankfurt.
Karlsruher SC 4 - 0 Rot-Weiß Oberhausen
Luis Robles and Karlsruher SC finally broke their long and disastrous winless streak on Sunday, exploding for a four-goal output while keeping their opponents Rot-Weiß Oberhausen off the board.
Under new coach Uwe Rapolder, Karlsruhe got off to a perfect start as Macauley Chrisantus found Timo Staffeldt in the area with a low cross from the left, who controlled the ball from the ground and spun around his defender before hitting a low shot to the right side of goal.
Oberhausen were forced to play the final 75 minutes a man down when Marcel Landers appeared to trip up Gaetan Krebs just outside the area and was shown red as the last defender, although replays showed a clear dive by the Karlsruhe player.
The hosts took control two minutes into the second half as Alexander Iashvili sent Chrisantus through the defense with a through ball, and the Nigerian youth international made no mistake in putting the ball into the open net.
Iashvili triggered the team's third goal midway through the half, taking advantage of lax defending by Oberhausen to find Matthias Zimmermann on the right for a low, tight-angled shot out of the reach of keeper Soeren Pirson.
Unwilling to settle for just three goals in the blowout, Lukas Rupp added a fourth in the dying seconds as he stormed up the middle and beat Pirson with a shot from near the penalty spot, putting the exclamation point on the emphatic win.
Karlsruhe remain in the 16th-place relegation playoff spot despite win, but can jump to safety on Sunday should they find a way to take three points on their visit to 14th-place Düsseldorf.
Rot-Weiß Erfurt 4 - 0 Rot Weiss Ahlen
Matt Taylor lasted 70 minutes for Rot-Weiss Ahlen on Saturday as their four-game winning streak was finally halted at the hands of Rot-Weiß Erfurt in a lopsided defeat.
Erfurt stormed ahead in the 17th minute when Jens Möckel put away a free kick from Nils Pfingsten Reddig, then extended it with six minutes left in the half as Denis Weidlich pulled down a cross from Tino Semmer and pushed it over the line for 2-0.
Ahlen central defender Daniel Flottmann put his team deeper in the hole four minutes after the break when he headed a corner into his own net, then Semmer added a fourth for his team after 66 minutes when he beat keeper Phillip Kühn at the end of an Erfurt counter-attack.
Ahlen drop to tenth place with the defeat, and will next host Rostock on Sunday.
Ricardo Clark was an unused substitute for Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday in the Allianz Arena and watched his team get blown out by 4-1 scoreline against FC Bayern.
Amaechi Igwe is still recovering from injury and sat out Ingolstadt's 1-0 win at home over FC Union Berlin on Sunday.
Kenny Cooper is in the final stages of recovering from a broken ankle, but did not participate on Monday evening as 1860 Munich fell 1-0 on their visit to SpVgg Greuther Fürth.