BERLIN, May 10 (Reuters) - Werder Bremen thrashed Hanover 96 6-1 on Saturday to stay two points clear of Schalke 04 in the race for second place with one game to play, while Hansa Rostock and MSV Duisburg were relegated.
Bayern Munich wrapped up their 21st German league title last weekend, leaving their rivals to scrap it out for second spot and direct entry to the Champions League.
While Werder saw off Hanover with a fiesta at the Weser, Schalke kept alive their hopes with a nervy 1-0 win at home over Eintracht Frankfurt, a Mladen Krstajic header securing victory.
Rostock's and Duisburg's chances of escaping the drop were ended by home defeats.
Rostock conceded two penalties -- the first a harsh decision, the second a terrible mistake from the keeper -- in a 2-1 defeat by Bayer Leverkusen.
Duisburg saw a fightback against Bayern just come up short.
The champions took a 3-0 lead by the 20th minute with an Andreas Ottl blast and a double from Lukas Podolski. Two goals at the start of the second half suddenly gave Duisburg hope but Bayern held on comfortably enough.
Nuremberg remain in the third relegation place with 31 points after a 1-0 defeat away to Hertha Berlin but they still have a chance of avoiding the drop.
Arminia Bielefeld are the other side in danger on 33 points after a 2-2 draw with Borussia Dortmund.
Energie Cottbus secured their place in the top division when they pulled off a brilliant 2-0 win at home to Hamburg SV.
Werder have been inconsistent this season but they reminded their fans of what they can do on Saturday.
Naldo walked through the defence and teed up Hugo Almeida for the first and the Brazilian defender headed in the second himself just before the half-hour mark.
Tim Borowski added a third in the second half, Ivan Klasnic headed in on the rebound after the keeper had blocked Diego's penalty for 4-0 and Markus Rosenberg and Aaron Hunt added further goals before Szabolcs Huszti got one back at the end.
Werder and Schalke are guaranteed at least third, which provides a place in the final Champions League qualifying round. The other issue still to be settled concerns two UEFA Cup slots.
VfL Wolfsburg got themselves right back in the hunt with a 4-0 win over VfB Stuttgart, who were not helped by the apparently ludicrous decision to send off their skipper Fernando Meira in the 18th minute after minimal contact with Grafite.
Leverkusen, Hamburg, Wolfsburg and Stuttgart are all on 51 points in fourth to seventh, with two places to play for.