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Superb Bayern win ends crisis talk

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Claudio Pizarro was among the scorers in Bayern's vital victory over Schalke

BERLIN, Germany -- Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich ended talk of a crisis with a 3-0 home win over third-placed Schalke on Sunday.

Leaders Bayern made the most of their few scoring opportunities to keep second-placed Hamburg, who had won 1-0 at Wolfsburg on Saturday, six points behind with eight games remaining.

Bosnia midfielder Hasan Salihamidzic opened the scoring, heading home a Willy Sagnol free kick three minutes into the second half.

Peru striker Claudio Pizarro doubled the advantage on 56 minutes, entering the box unchallenged to flick the ball over Schalke goalkeeper Frank Rost.

Dutch striker Roy Makaay, who came on in the second half, wrapped it up with one minute remaining.

Bayern, who had picked up one point from their previous two league games and been knocked out of the Champions League, top the table with 62 points from 26 games, followed by Hamburg on 56 and Schalke on 51.

"The last few results had hurt our confidence and we were nervous at first but we slowly found our way into the game," said Bayern coach Felix Magath.

"That first goal liberated us. After that we played really well."

Hertha Berlin, who had ended a lean spell with a 3-0 victory at Werder Bremen last weekend, confirmed their recovery with a 1-0 win over Arminia Bielefeld in the other game played on Sunday.

The capital club's first home win since last November kept them in sixth place and in the race for the UEFA Cup places.

Serbia & Montenegro forward Marko Pantelic headed home the winner in the 61st minute of a dull game with few highlights.

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