BERLIN: Dutch international Roy Makaay scored a sensational hat-trick as Bayern Munich crushed arch-rivals Borussia Dortmund 5-0 yesterday in a perfect warm-up for Tuesday's Champions League clash with English champions Arsenal.
Bayern lost 3-1 to Arminia Bielefeld last time out but bounced back from that defeat trouncing Dortmund, with four goals in the first period, to move three points clear at the top of the Bundesliga.
Second-placed Schalke 04 can join Bayern on 44 points with victory over Borussia Monchengladbach today.
Bayer Leverkusen were another of Germany's Champions League hopefuls to bolster their confidence with a 4-2 triumph over FC Nuremberg.
Bayer, who surge up to fourth in the table, travel to Anfield to face Premiership side Liverpool on Tuesday in the last sixteen of Europe's premier competition.
German champions Werder Bremen stayed within four points of Bayern with a 4-1 victory over Hannover that lifts spirits for Wednesday's Champions League encounter with French counterparts Lyon.
Munich coach Felix Magath chose to rest England international Owen Hargreaves and German international Torsten Frings for the Arsenal tie but it made little difference as Dortmund, dogged by financial problems off the field, were torn apart.
With just four minutes gone Hasan Salihamidzic stole in at the back post to open the scoring and 120 seconds later Makaay made it 2-0.
Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller inexplicably allowed Makaay's tame shot to squirm under his body but was helpless in the 28th minute when Claudio Pizarro volleyed home.
Makaay notched his second in the 34th minute slotting the ball through Weidenfeller's legs and completed his hat-trick in the 54th minute to take his season's tally to 12.
Dortmund had not won in Munich since 1991 and on the evidence of this display that wait could go on much longer.
Leverkusen appear to be coming into a rich vein of form ahead of their European tie against Liverpool triumphing 4-2 at Nuremberg. – AFP