Dortmund closes gap on Bayern to three points

Robert Lewandowski scored a brace to help 1 win over Freiburg on Saturday at Dreisamstadion.

Dortmund extended its unbeaten streak to 11 games in league play, and moved to within three points of leader Bayern Munich in second at the end of the first half of the season.

Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin Grosskreutz also scored for Dortmund.

Freiburg's winless streak reached five games, as it ends the first half of the season with just 13 points from 17 matches and is at the bottom of the table.

Lewandowski started the scoring after 7 minutes when he directed a pass from Shinji Kagawa into the bottom left for his 11th goal of the season.

Jan Rosenthal pulled a goal back on 34 minutes for Freiburg, as he picked out the lower left after a pass from Anton Putsila, but Dortmund restored its lead before half.

Gundogan scored off assist from Jakub Blaszczykowski, as he capped off a quick attack in the 44th for his first goal of the season.

Grosskreutz added a third on the hour mark, as he took a pass from Lewandowski and finished to the bottom right to put Dortmund in control.

Lewandowski added his 12th goal of the season in the 70th, as Kagawa played a quick through ball to Grosskreutz, who unselfishly slipped a pass off to the left to set the table for Lewandowski's easy finish into an empty net.

Nurnberg 3, Bayer Leverkusen 0

Leverkusen, Germany - Daniel Didavi and Jens Hegeler scored their first goals of the season in the first half, Tomas Pekhart added his fifth in the second, and Nurnberg stunned Bayer Leverkusen, 3-0, on Saturday at BayArena.

Nurnberg had lost five of its last six Bundesliga games, but Didavi scored in the 8th minute, Hegeler followed in the 22nd and Bayer - which is sixth in the standings and qualified for the Champions League last 16 - never answered.

Pekhart's goal 17 minutes from time sealed Nurnberg's third road victory this season, and lifted the club out of the relegation zone at the winter break.

Leverkusen had its six-game unbeaten streak snapped and ends the first half of the season 11 points behind leader Bayern Munich.

Schalke 5, Werder Bremen 0

Gelsenkirchen, Germany - Raul scored a hat trick and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar added his 15th goal of the season, as Schalke rolled to a 5-0 win over Werder Bremen on Saturday at Veltins-Arena in the Bundesliga.

Raul scored twice in the first half, completed his hat trick early after half, and Kyriakos Papadopoulos followed in the 67th and Huntelaar in the 70th. Raul now has 10 goals this season, while Huntelaar is one behind leading scorer Mario Gomez of Bayern Munich at the winter break.

Schalke used its fourth win in its last five to remain level on points with second-place Borussia Dortmund, three points behind leader Bayern.

Bremen lost for the third time in its last five, as it ends the first half off another poor effort and sits eight points off the pace in fifth place.

Hoffenheim 1, Hertha Berlin 1

Sinsheim, Germany - Roman Hubnik scored in stoppage time as Hertha Berlin tied Hoffenheim, 1-1, on Saturday at Rhein-Neckar Arena in a Bundesliga match that both sides finished with 10 men.

Hertha's winless streak reached six straight but, after Raffael was sent off on the half-hour mark, Hubnik rescued a point when he directed Adrian Ramos' pass into the net from about 6 yards in the closing seconds.

Sejad Salihovic scored in the first half for Hoffenheim, which also went down a man when Isaac Vorsah was sent off just after the hour mark.

Hoffenheim has just one win in its last five, and ends the first half of the season with 22 points from 17 matches to secure a spot in the top half. Hertha has 20 points from the first half, and sits just outside the top half.

Wolfsburg 1, Stuttgart 0

Wolfsburg, Germany - Sebastian Polter scored in the 74th minute as Wolfsburg edged Stuttgart, 1-0, on Saturday at Volkswagen Arena to end the first half of the Bundesliga season with a much-needed victory.

Wolfsburg was winless in three and just out of the bottom three, but used the win to move five points above the relegation zone.

Stuttgart is winless in four straight games, a stretch including three losses, as it ends the first half with 22 points from 17 games. Stuttgart is currently seventh in the table, but could slip to eighth Sunday.

Hamburg 1, Augsburg 1

Hamburg, Germany - Jose Paolo Guerrero answered Torsten Oehrl's goal within 5 minutes, as Hamburg extended its unbeaten streak to nine Bundesliga games with a 1-1 draw against Augsburg on Saturday at Imtech Arena.

Oehrl scored to the bottom-left corner in the 63rd minute for Augsburg, but it was equalized by Guerrero in the 67th with a header to the bottom left.

Hamburg has used its recent run to move clear of the bottom three, and will be at least one point clear of the relegation zone at the winter break. Augsburg, which had won two of its last three, is 17th and just two points out of last.