HAMBURG, May 5 (Bundesliga) - Bochum put to bed any lingering relegation fears with an emphatic victory over Hamburg at the AOL Arena on Saturday.
Theofanis Gekas, Dennis Grote and Zvjezdan Misimovic all put their names on the scoresheet as the visitors romped to victory over a lacklustre home team and kept alive their hopes of playing European football next season.
Heading into the game, both teams had a six-point cushion between themselves and the drop zone, but it was Marcel Koller's men who looked more determined for the points.
In front of a packed 57,000 crowd, the Northerners made a slow start and were almost made to pay after six minutes when Joel Epalle cut through their defence and shot wayward with only Frank Rost in the Hamburg goal to beat.
The first real opening came in the 15th minute, when Grote played in Gekas on the edge of the penalty area, but his shot deflected of midfielder Misimovic and went inches wide.
For the hosts, David Jarolim and Rafael Van der Vaart both hit long range efforts into the crowd, while Heiko Butscher almost capitalised on an error by Ivica Olic to put the visitors ahead before the break.
In the 60th minute, though, Gekas finally made the breakthrough, brushing off the tackle of Joris Mathijsen as he charged into the penalty area, before sliding the ball beyond a diving Rost.
Six minutes later it was two, Grote cutting inside from the left wing before hitting a powerful low shot home from 14 yards.
And in the 80th minute, a hand-ball from Collin Benjamin left the referee no option but to award a penalty, which Misimovic banged home to secure all the points and move Bochum into eighth place, three points off the automatic UEFA Cup qualifying berths.