Bayern Munich striker Mario Gomez capitalized on a weak Stuttgart defense and helped himself to a hat trick as Bayern won 5-3. Meanwhile Bayer Leverkusen drew 2-2 with Freiburg, keeping them third in the league.
Franck Ribery scored Bayern's third goal just before half time
Spectators at Stuttgart's Mercedes-Benz Arena were treated to an eight-goal thriller on Sunday as Bayern Munich beat struggling Stuttgart 5-3.
Bayern Munich striker Mario Gomez made the most of a patchy Stuttgart defense and scored himself a hat trick by capitalizing on Stuttgart's mistakes. It was the second Bundesliga hat trick for Gomez this season.
The game was a baptism of fire for Stuttgart's new coach Bruno Labbadia in his first Bundesliga game since taking over from Jens Keller last weekend.
Excellent partnership between Mario Gomez and his national teammate Thomas Mueller saw Gomez open scoring on 31 minutes. Gomez then returned the favor to set up Mueller for Bayern's second goal five minutes later. Franck Ribery scored with a superb solo effort to take Bayern into half time 0-3 up.
Stuttgart fought back in the second half with a goal from substitute Martin Harnik, however Gomez struck twice in two minutes to complete his hat trick just five minutes later. Despite a second goal from Harnik and one from Christian Gentner, Stuttgart had to settle with the 3-5 scoreline.
Most of the Leverkusen game was played in a snow blizzard
The result means Stuttgart are still firmly in the relegation zone, second from bottom, while Bayern move up to fifth, 14 points behind Bundesliga leaders Dortmund.
Leverkusen snatch draw
In Sunday's other game, a snowy pitch at Leverkusen saw the home team snatch a late equalizer against Freiburg.
Bayer Leverkusen opened the scoring from the penalty spot, as Chile international Arturo Vidal scored his sixth penalty of the season.
However, the visitors fought back as midfielder Jan Rosenthal and striker Stefan Reisinger scored either side of half time.
In the 69th minute, Leverkusen brought in Patrick Helmes who scored just six minutes later. The 2-2 draw keeps Leverkusen third and places Freiburg sixth at the halfway point in the season.
Author: Catherine Bolsover (dpa/AFP)
Editor: Kyle James