Edin Dzeko and striking partner Grafite were on fire again with two goals each as Wolfsburg hammered Bayern Munich 5-1 for the Bundesliga lead on Saturday, April 4.
Grafite's final goal sweetened the victory for Wolfsburg
With the score at 1-1 at half-time Bosnian forward Dzeko struck in the 63rd and 66th minute for a season tally of 15 and Brazil's Grafite did his share in in the 74th and 77th -- the latter with an amazing back-heeler -- to become league top scorer with 20 goals.
Wolfsburg lead the standings on goal difference with their eighth straight victory with Hertha Berlin crashing 3-1 at home against Borussia Dortmund.
Wolfsburg lead the way with 51 points, due to a superior goal difference over northern German rivals Hamburg who defeated slumping Hoffenheim 1-0. Hertha are third on 49 points and Bayern fourth with 48 points after their biggest defeat in seven years since an identical 5-1 drubbing against Schalke in 2002.
"We never thought we could beat them 5-1," said Dzeko. "But we are still not thinking about the title. There are still eight games to play."
Munich's debacle will be a hard pill to swallow for coach Juergen Klinsmann
Wolfsburg and Bayern entered their showdown in joint second place on the same amount of points and an identical goal difference, and it took until shortly before half-time that the game finally came alive.
Christian Gentner headed the hosts 1-0 up off a corner kick in the 44th. But Munich's Luca Toni, back from a five-week injury layoff, got the equalizer a minute later, with Wolfsburg's goalkeeper Diego Benaglio ruled to have stopped the shot behind the goal line.
Dzeko and Grafite then made the difference after the break as the team of former Bayern coach Felix Magath stormed to a stunning victory.
Dzeko tapped in Marcel Schaefer's left-wing cross as Munich's young defender Breno made no serious challenge. Two minutes later he scored again off influential midfielder Zvjezdan Misimovic.
Grafite then completed the rout, his first coming in the 74th and the back-heeler in the 77th the final insult as Munich were hammered ahead of next week's Champions League quarter-final with Barcelona.
"We have to swallow this," said Bayern coach Juergen Klinsmann. "We could have taken a huge step. We made many mistakes. We know we played badly and must look ahead very quickly."
Hamburg carves out a 1-0 win over Hoffenheim
Hamburg's Pitroipa scored his side's winning goal against Hoffenheim
Hamburg's victory came courtesy of Jonathan Pitroipa, who in the 28th minute squeezed past goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand and a defender to find the net. The hosts had captain David Jarolim sent off for a second bookable offence late in the game.
Hertha's reign on top ended when they lost their second game in a row against a determined Dortmund team which drew first blood in the 25th minute from Alexander Frei's left-footer. Hertha leveled after a solo from Raffael in the 54th, but Sebastian Kehl's header in the 63rd and Nelson Valdez in the 82nd sealed their fate.
"We played well and had our chances, but Dortmund's second goal decided the game," said Hertha coach Lucien Favre.
Elsewhere, VfB Stuttgart won 2-1 at VfL Bochum to pass Hoffenheim for fifth place, and Eintracht Frankfurt got a breather in the lowlands with a 2-1 victory over drop zone club Energie Cottbus.
Schalke won 2-0 at Arminia Bielefeld on Friday in the first game since the sacking of coach Fred Rutten, with Youri Mulder, Mike Bueskens and Oliver Reck in charge as an interim trio.
Sunday's games are Cologne versus Bayer Leverkusen, Werder Bremen versus Hanover 96 and SC Karlsruhe versus Borussia Moenchengladbach.