Berlin, Feb 17 (IANS) Dortmund and Leverkusen remain in the hunt of front-runners Bayern Munich as Dortmund cruised to a comfortable 3-0 win over Frankfurt and Leverkusen overcame Augsburg 2-1 at the 22nd round of the German football league, Bundesliga.
Dortmund defended their second position, 15 points clear of Bayern, as they edged out a helpless Frankfurt 3-0 Saturday, thanks to the hat-trick by Marco Reus, reports Xinhua.
The 'BVB' staged a perfect start as they caught newly promoted Frankfurt flat-footed eight minutes into the match. Reus made use of an assist by Mario Goetze to break the deadlock left footed.
The hosts needed another two minutes to double the lead as Reus had all the time and space to finish a through ball into the inside right.
Frankfurt were unable to gain a foothold into the match despite Dortmund being reduced to 10-men as Julian Schieber was sent off for his second bookable offence in the 31st minute.
Dortmund extended their lead as Reus capitalised on a build up play by Goetze to make it 3-0 in the 65th minute.
Frankfurt pressed for their consolation but Takashi Inui was sent off for his second bookable offence. They are now in fourth with 37 points while Dortmund defended second with 42 points.
Elsewhere, Leverkusen had to make amendments after their 0-1 home loss to Benfica at the UEFA Europa League. They earned a hard fought 2-1 win over relegation threatened Augsburg.
Augsburg were unable to make use of their possession. It was Leverkusen's Stefan Kiessling who broke the deadlock with 14 minutes into the match to score his 15th goal of the season. The top scorer headed home a long cross into the box by Gonzalo Castro.
After the break, Augsburg remained incapable of utilising their chances as Ji Dong Won, Michael Parkhurst and Ander Hahn wasted their chances. Leverkusen sealed the deal following a rebound to double the lead in the 75th minute. Lars Bender utilised an assist by Stefan Kiessling to slot home into bottom left.
Augsburg were only able to score a consolation in the 89th minute through Sascha Moelders. They now reside in 17th with 15 points whilst Leverkusen sit on third with 41.
Freiburg and Bremen staged a topsy-turvy goal festival with the better end for Freiburg, who secured the first win over the hosts in 11 years. Freiburg took the lead twice before Matthias Ginter wrapped up the 3-2 away victory.
Freiburg opened the scoring in a fast paced encounter with 36 minutes into the match when Max Kruse finished an assist by Jan Rosenthal. The hosts needed only three minutes to respond as Nils Petersen beat Freiburg keeper Oliver Baumann following a fast break.
Ten minutes into the second half Freiburg again took the lead as Daniel Caliguiri converted a foul play penalty. Bremen answered with the equaliser for the second time as Petersen tapped in a cross by Marko Arnautovic into the open goal as Freiburg goalkeeper and defenders misjudged a cross in the 64th minute.
Nonetheless Freiburg were not done with scoring as Ginter scored the winner in the 70th minute with a follow up shot after a corner.
Freiburg remain in fifth position with 34 points meanwhile Schalke climb from 10th to eighth with 30 points.
Elsewhere, Mainz took the lead twice but Schalke's loanee Michel Bastos scored twice to secure a 2-all draw at away.
Hamburg sealed a neat 1-0 win over Monchengladbach thanks to the winner by Rafael van der Vaart and newly promoted Dusseldorf defeated 10-men bottom team Freuther Fuerth 1-0.