Bundesliga round-up

Stuttgart win again; Bremen crush Frankfurt; Hamburg humble Bochum

Marica: Kept Stuttgart in title hunt

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Stuttgart closed the gap on the top three on Wednesday as their fine form continued at Schalke.

Elsewhere, Hoffenheim were also victors on the road, while Werder Bremen proved too strong for 10-man Frankfurt.

It is Stuttgart, though, that will feel they still have a chance of claiming the title heading into the weekend as they ground out a 2-1 win at Schalke.

Cacau fired them in front after 16 minutes, drilling home from distance, before Ivan Rakitic levelled matters on 39 minutes with a fine free-kick.

Stuttgart were not to be denied a seventh win in eight outings, though, and saw Ciprian Marica snatch a vital winner 11 minutes into the second half.

The most comprehensive victory of the night came at Eintracht Frankfurt, where the hosts were humbled 5-0 by Werder Bremen.

The turning point in a keenly-fought contest came after 51 minutes as Patrick Ochs handled in the box, conceding a penalty and being sent off in the process.

Torsten Frings made no mistake from the spot and Bremen never looked back.

Five minutes later Frings was on target again, before Alexandros Tzilois wrapped up the points on the hour-mark.

Claudio Pizarro then coolly converted from close range on 62 minutes and Hugo Almeida rounded off the scoring for the Uefa Cup finalists when he struck 13 minutes from time.

Hamburg moved back into the top five, which would be enough to guarantee a Europa League place, with a comfortable 3-1 win at home to struggling Bochum.

Paolo Guerrero opened the scoring on 15 minutes and Ivica Olic doubled their advantage when he headed home on 33 minutes.

The Croatian striker then grabbed a third on 58 minutes, before Paul Freier stepped off the bench to notch a 71st minute consolation for the visitors.

Arminia Bielefeld slumped to second from bottom in the table with a 2-0 defeat against Hoffenheim.

Brazilian forward Wellington broke the deadlock after 25 minutes in a contest which stretched Bielefeld's winless run to eight games.

Fejae Salihovic made the points safe eight minutes from time when he converted from the spot after Andre Mijatovic had been shown a second yellow card for a clumsy challenge in the box.

Energie Cottbus and Borussia Monchengladbach remain in trouble towards the foot of the Bundesliga rankings, but the latter have opened up a three-point cushion on the drop zone after a dramatic effort from Bonfim da Costa Dante handed them a 1-0 win at Stadion der Freundschaft.