Ten-man Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich stayed in the driving seat to retain their title with a 4-0 home drubbing of Vfb Stuttgart, while Borussia Dortmund lost ground in their quest for a top-four finish after a 2-2 draw at Cologne on Saturday.
An early red card for left back Alphonso Davies spurred Bayern as they scored four times in a 22-minute first-half spell despite being a man down, with Robert Lewandowski grabbing a hat-trick and Serge Gnabry netting the other goal.
Lewandowski fired Bayern ahead in the 18th and German Gnabry rounded off a sweeping move to make it 2-0 before the Poland striker finished off Stuttgart with a header and a left-foot shot, thriving from good work by Leroy Sane and Thomas Mueller.
The result left Bayern on 61 points from 26 games, four ahead of closest rivals RB Leipzig ahead of a blockbuster clash at the Red Bull Arena on April 3 after the international break.
Dortmund salvaged a point at Cologne thanks to their Norway striker Erling Haaland’s last-gasp equaliser but will see a share of the spoils as a bittersweet outcome having fallen behind in the race for a Champions League qualifying spot.
Dortmund stayed fifth on 43 points, four behind Eintracht Frankfurt who gained ground with a 5-2 home rout of Union Berlin after Andre Silva scored twice while Filip Kostic and Timothy Chandler added one each to complement a Robert Andrich own goal.
Haaland fired Dortmund into a third-minute lead with a superb solo effort but Cologne turned the match on its head after Ondrej Duda converted a penalty and Ismail Jacobs hit the roof of the net with a fierce shot from 15 metres.
Haaland showed his predatory skills again in the 90th minute to tap in a low cross from the right but Dortmund were unable to force a final twist as the hosts held on in stoppage time.
Third-placed Vfl Wolfsburg, who are 10 points behind Bayern and four ahead of Frankfurt, stayed firmly on course to secure a Champions League berth with a 2-1 win at Werder Bremen.
Wout Weghorst struck in the 42nd minute after a Joshua Sargent own goal to give Wolfsburg a 2-0 lead before Kevin Moehwald pulled one back on the stroke of halftime.
In Saturday’s late kick-off, bottom team Schalke 04 are at home to mid-table Borussia Moenchengladbach, while Hertha Berlin, who occupy the relegation playoff spot, host sixth-placed Bayer Leverkusen in Sunday’s standout fixture.