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Dzeko 'trick as Wolfsburg remains top

EDIN Dzeko struck a 12-minute hat-trick to help VfL Wolfsburg beat Hoffenheim 4-0 and stretch its lead in the German Bundesliga to three points with four matches to play.

The Bosnian striker's second-half burst, followed by a penalty from Grafite, lifted Wolfsburg to 60 points from 30 games and kept it in with a real chance of landing its first-ever Bundesliga title.

"Now we are the title favorites," Wolfsburg coach Felix Magath said. "We are just before the end and we still have three home games. We can beat anyone in the league."

Bayern Munich is second on 57 after beating lowly Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-1 in its first match under interim coach Jupp Heynckes, who replaced Juergen Klinsmann last week.

Bastian Schweinsteiger put it in front and Hamit Altintop sealed the win after 'Gladbach had leveled with a Filip Daems penalty.

Bayern could have added several more but Toni missed five clear chances from close range in just seven minutes.

Third-placed VfB Stuttgart twice squandered a lead to draw 2-2 with Arminia Bielefeld and drop two points behind Bayern while Borussia Dortmund scored its sixth straight win, a 2-0 against host Eintracht Frankfurt to climb to sixth on 52.

Hertha Berlin, fourth on 55, will need to beat fifth-placed Hamburg SV to cut the Wolfsburg lead back to two.

In France, two deflected efforts by Mamadou Niang helped Olympique Marseille draw 2-2 with Toulouse to extend its Ligue 1 lead to three points on Saturday.

League top scorer Andre-Pierre Gignac took his tally this season to 21 goals by twice putting visitors Toulouse ahead after the interval.

Marseille has 68 points with four games left, three ahead of second-placed Girondins Bordeaux, which was hosting Sochaux yesterday.

Olympique Lyon's hopes of an eighth successive crown all but vanished when a double strike by Johan Audel led Valenciennes to a 2-0 home win over the champions.

Third-placed Lyon has 61 points while Toulouse is fifth on 58.


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