Trio boost survival hopes as Bayern power on at top of Bundesliga

Trio boost survival hopes as Bayern power on at top of Bundesliga

Darmstadt, Hoffenheim and Augsburg were the big winners in the Bundesliga today as they each pulled away from the bottom three with significant victories.

Darmstadt can almost start planning for a second straight season in the top flight after they stunned Hamburg 2-1 at the Volksparkstadion.

Goals from Aytac Sulu, the most prolific defender in the Bundesliga this season, and Jerome Gondorf helped Dirk Schuster's men open up a five-point advantage over the relegation zone, with Lewis Holtby's goal scant consolation for Hamburg.

Augsburg came from behind to beat Werder Bremen 2-1 and climb above their hosts, trading places with the Bavarians moving two points above the relegation play-off berth and the northern Germany side now in it.

Goals from Nadiem Amiri and Mark Uth helped in-form Hoffenheim leave Eintracht Frankfurt in their wake with a 2-0 win at the Waldstadion piling the pressure on Niko Kovac, who has lost three of his four games in charge of the Eagles.

They are three points from safety with five games of the season remaining.

It was also a good day for Ingolstadt, who can almost pop the corks to celebrate their survival after a late goal from Moritz Hartmann earned them a 1-0 win against high-flying Borussia Monchengladbach.

That result helped Ingolstadt move closer to a place in Europe next season than relegation back down to the 2. Bundesliga.

The defeat was a setback for Gladbach, who could drop as low as sixth on Sunday when Schalke and Bayer Leverkusen are in action.

Mainz drew level with them on 45 points with a 1-1 draw at Wolfsburg, a result which leaves the Wolves six points adrift in the hunt for more European football again next term.

Wolfsburg stunned Real Madrid 2-0 at home in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final in midweek but, despite taking the lead, they could not follow it up with another win over Mainz.

Andre Schurrle scored against his former side to put Wolfsburg ahead but Jairo Samperio levelled midway through the second half and the hosts were left holding on in the end following the the late dismissal of Dante.

Finally, the Bundesliga's other representatives in the last eight of the Champions League, Bayern Munich, moved eight points clear of Borussia Dortmund at the top of the table thanks to a 3-1 win in Stuttgart.

Georg Niedermeier's own goal put Bayern in front after half an hour and David Alaba doubled their lead before Daniel Didavi made things interesting with what turned out to be only a consolation for the hosts, as Douglas Costa finished them off late on.

Dortmund can return to within five points when they travel to Schalke on Sunday.

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