Hertha Berlin cruised to a 3-0 home win over hopeless Bayer Leverkusen to boost their survival hopes just hours after Mainz moved out of the Bundesliga bottom three by winning at Hoffenheim.
Deyovaisio Zeefuik’s super strike on four minutes set the tone in the capital on Sunday and further first-half goals from Matheus Cunha and Jhon Cordoba left Leverkusen reeling.
Hertha, who now have two wins in three after a nine-match streak without victory, had fallen to 17th when Mainz triumphed 2-1 at Hoffenheim but they’re now back to 14th, although still only two points above second-last Arminia Bielefeld.
“We are on a good path,” Hertha coach Pal Dardai told Sky. “From the view of the table it was an important victory for us.”
Leverkusen could have gone fifth with a victory but remain sixth, seven points off the fourth and final Champions League place.
The defeat leaves them with one win in six league games and heaps pressure on coach Peter Bosz.
Leverkusen are only three points clear of Freiburg, who moved eighth with a 2-0 win over Augsburg in the final game of the weekend.
Earlier, Robert Glatzel robbed Bayern Munich loanee Chris Richards to score less than a minute into his starting debut for Mainz and Dominik Kohr headed the 41st minute winner shortly after Ihlas Bebou levelled for mid-table Hoffenheim.
At the halfway stage of the season Mainz were second-last with seven points, the same as Schalke, and 10 adrift from outright safety.
But they are now up to 15th, below Hertha on goal difference, for the first time since November and one point clear of Cologne in the playoff spot.