Toni brace lifts Bayern
Bayern Munich's Italian World Cup winner Luca Toni struck twice as the German giants went seven points clear at the top of the Bundesliga with a 2-1 win over title rivals Bayer Leverkusen.
With nine rounds of the Bundesliga left, Bayern look like a good bet to pick up their 21st crown as German champions.
Bayern took an early lead on 17 minutes as Germany forward Miroslav Klose passed back into the five-yard box for Toni to rifle home his 15th league goal of the season.
And Toni struck again on 59 minutes to put the game beyond doubt when he headed home defender Philipp Lahm's spectacular cross to put him on 26 goals for the season in all competitions.
The Italian is now the league's top scorer with 16 goals while between them Klose and Toni have hit 46 goals for Bayern since they both moved to Munich last summer.
Bayer hit a late consolation goal through Russian striker Dmitriy Bulykin on 83 minutes and the result means Toni is now the league's top scorer with 16 goals.
"We played well for 83 minutes and we deserved the victory," said Bayern coach Ottmar Hitzfeld.
"It was a good win for us and we could have been three, four or five goals up.
"But we switched off late in the game and had a nervous wait for the final whistle when Bayer grabbed the consolation goal."
The defeat leaves Bayer Leverkusen third in the table - nine points behind Bayern - and in danger of slipping back to fourth if Werder Bremen win at strugglers Arminia Bielefeld on Sunday.
Second-placed Hamburg are now seven points behind Bayern after they slipped to a 1-1 draw with VfL Wolfsburg.
Defender Bastian Reinhardt headed home a Piotr Trochowski pass on 14 minutes to put Hamburg ahead, but Wolfsburg striker Danijel Ljuboja equalised in the second-half to share the points.
Defending champions VfB Stuttgart are on the verge of breaking into the top five - and a place in Europe next season - as they beat Hansa Rostock 4-1.
Mexican midfielder Pavel Pardo opened the scoring with a second-half penalty before Brazilian striker Cacau put Stuttgart 2-0 ahead.
Rostock pulled a goal back as striker Mario Gomez turned the ball into his own net before making amends with a goal of his own as midfielder Yildiray Bastuerk added the fourth.
"We weren't aggressive enough in the first half," said Stuttgart coach Armin Veh, whose side have recovered from their alarming slide towards relegation before Christmas.
"In the second half we were much better, I thought we had let Rostock back in with the own goal, but we closed out the win. German Cup finalists Borussia Dortmund shared a point in their battle to stay away from the relegation zone when they drew 1-1 with mid-table Karslruhe.
Croatian striker Mladen Petric's 12th league goal of the season to put Dortmund ahead before Sebastian Freis equalised.