Bundesliga wrap: Wolfsburg revival continues
Wolfsburg continued their Bundesliga resurgence by toppling Hoffenheim 3-1, while Werder Bremen overcame strugglers Fortuna Duesseldorf.
Goals from Makoto Hasebe, Bas Dost and Naldo handed the visitors their third win in four games on Sunday.
Wolfsburg had won only one game in eight outings, which included five defeats, under the guidance of former coach Felix Magath but since his departure, the 2008/09 champions have lost just once.
It was the visiting side who came out of the blocks quickest, with a smart Hasebe finish giving them the lead after just seven minutes.
Hoffenheim were dealt a critical blow soon after when Dutch striker Dost grabbed his fifth goal of the season in the 24th minute.
Wolfsburg pressed more and more, and Matthieu Delpierre was forced into an acrobatic clearance to keep the score at 2-0.
They eventually made it 3-0 when defender Naldo sent a trademark free-kick past Diego Benaglio with 12 minutes remaining.
Eren Derdiyok pulled one back on 88 minutes with a close-range header, but it was too little too late for Markus Babbel's side, who are two points adrift of Wolfsburg in 14th position.
Werder Bremen came from behind to beat Duesseldorf 2-1 at the Weserstadion in Sunday's earlier game.
Promoted Duesseldorf had been struggling for form in recent weeks, but made the perfect start when Sokratis Papastathopoulos hacked down Australian international Robbie Kruse inside the Bremen area.
And Jens Langeneke stepped up to convert the resulting spot-kick after 10 minutes.
Shortly after the break, Thomas Schaaf's side hit back.
Lukas Schmitz did superbly to keep the ball in on the left wing before cutting the ball back to Nils Petersen, who sent a crisp header into the back of the net.
Bremen's quest for a winner was made all the harder when Assani Lukimya-Mulongoti received his marching orders, but Kevin De Bruyne, on loan from English Premier League outfit Chelsea, was there to volley home with less than 10 minutes to play.