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Wolfsburg suffers four from Gomez

MARIO Gomez hit four goals to inspire VfB Stuttgart to a 4-1 win over Bundesliga leader VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday which threw the title race wide open with three matches left. Wolfsburg was joined at the top by champion Bayern Munich, which won 3-1 at Energie Cottbus.

With all the teams in action again tomorrow and on Wednesday, Wolfsburg leads on goal difference from Bayern on 60 points. Hertha Berlin is a point behind after beating VfL Bochum 2-0 while Stuttgart completes the title log-jam on 58.

Stuttgart stunned the visitors with a goal in the first minute when the unmarked Gomez nodded in from 11 meters.

The Germany striker, who has not scored for his country since March 2008, added his second from close range in the 20th with Wolfsburg's defense in disarray.

The leaders hit back before the break with Edin Dzeko netting his 20th goal of the season.

Any thoughts of a comeback were short-lived when Gomez fired home from 14 meters in the 63rd before putting the seal on his spectacular show with another header in the 77th, his 23rd goal of the season.

"We imagined this match a bit differently," Wolfsburg coach Felix Magath told reporters.

"The early goal did us no good and then we had to replace two midfielders in the first half," added Magath referring to injured pair Zvjezdan Misimovic and Sascha Riether.

Wolfsburg has lost two of its last three matches after winning 10 successive games.

Bayern, with Frenchman Franck Ribery on the bench, was the more aggressive side at Cottbus and struck on 23 minutes thanks to Argentine Jose Sosa's eight-meter volley.

Lowly Cottbus leveled a minute before the break through Ivica Iliev but defender Martin Demichelis restored Bayern's lead in the 62nd and striker Lukas Podolski made sure of all three points with a low shot four minutes later.

"If you look at the table you will see how important this win was," said interim Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes who has two wins in two matches since taking over from Juergen Klinsmann last month. "There are four or five teams crammed together at the top. Our aim is direct Champions League qualification (from the leading two positions) and it is now possible again."


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