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Freiburg drop deeper into relegation mire
Bundesliga bottom club Freiburg leaked three goals in the first 17 minutes and had a man sent off in a 3-1 defeat at Mainz on Sunday as they dropped deeper into the German league relegation mire.
Freiburg were left reeling after Mainz striker Eric Choupo-Moting netted after three minutes and just 60 seconds later, Senegal defender Fallou Diagne was shown a straight red card for the hosts.
He was dismissed for hauling down Mainz's Adam Szalai, who was through on goal, and Poland midfielder Eugen Polanski drilled home the resulting penalty.
Things went from bad to worse for Freiburg when Choupo-Moting netted his second on 17 minutes with the defence all at sea.
Freiburg pulled a consolation goal back with 20 minutes left through Czech defender Pavel Krmas and they finished the game the stronger of the two teams after their disastrous start.
Having sold prolific striker Papiss Demba Cisse to Newcastle United, Freiburg are three points from safety, despite being last in the table, and only four points separate the bottom four teams.
Things are just as tight at the other end, with Bayern Munich top only on goal difference after their 2-0 home win over Wolfsburg on Saturday left them level with Borussia Dortmund and Schalke on 40 points.
Having previously lost 3-1 at fourth-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach -- who play at Stuttgart on Sunday night -- Bayern bounced back, with Mario Gomez scoring on the hour mark at Munich's Allianz Arena, before Dutch star Arjen Robben netted in added time.
"It wasn?t easy today after the defeat in Gladbach," said Munich coach Jupp Heynckes.
"The victory will boost our confidence, and we?ll take it from here over the next few weeks. There?s a lot of footballing potential at Bayern."
Defending champions Dortmund and Schalke are hard on Bayern's heels after Japan winger Shinji Kagawa scored twice in Dortmund's 3-1 win over Hoffenheim.
Kagawa gave Dortmund an early lead before Germany's Kevin Grosskreutz put the hosts 2-0 up at the break.
The pair combined for the third goal on 55 minutes as Grosskreutz flicked a deft back-heel into Kagawa's path and the Japan star fired home before Hoffenheim pulled back a consolation goal.
Schalke came from behind to record a 4-1 win at 10-man Cologne to stay third after Germany striker Lukas Podolski gave the hosts an early lead, before suffering a foot injury that threatens to keep him out for up to four weeks.
The Royal Blues got back in the game when Romanian striker Ciprian Marica netted with headers on 60 and 72 minutes.
Cologne's problems were compounded when defender Miso Brecko was sent off for fouling Schalke's Julian Draxler in the area and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar netted the penalty.
Midfielder Marco Hoeger completed the rout with a late strike to claim Schalke's fifth straight league win.
At the other end of the table, second-from-bottom Augsburg were held to a 2-2 draw at home to fellow relegation contenders Kaiserslautern, who remain third from bottom.
Hamburg bounced back from last weekend's hammering at home to Dortmund with a 2-1 win at Hertha Berlin in the capital city.
Werder Bremen stay fifth and Bayer Leverkusen sixth after they drew 1-1 in Bremen.
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