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Sports

Bayern Left Smiling at Top of Bundesliga

Despite not being in action on Saturday, it was a great afternoon for Bayern Munich as leading rivals Schalke 04 and VfB Stuttgart fell in surprise losses.

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It was a messy afternoon for Stuttgart

The top three spots remain the same after Saturday's matches, giving first place Bayern Munich a chance to take the lead when they play Hertha Berlin on Sunday.

Schalke didn't make good on a chance to keep itself in the race for the top of the Bundesliga table Saturday losing to Kaiserslautern 2:0, and third place Stuttgart got beat at home 2:4 by 13th ranked Nuremberg.

Schalke had a tough time playing away at Fritz Walter Stadium and was not able capitalize on their chances the game against Kaiserslautern. Making good use of the home field advantage, Kaiserslautern took the lead with a goal from Ioannis Amanatidis and then went ahead by two after Stefan Blank converted a penalty kick in the game's second half.

Stuttgart shocked at home

Fußball-Bundesliga, VfB Stuttgart gegen 1. FC Nürnberg

VfB Stuttgart's Cacau, left, challenges Nuremberg's Mario Cantaluppi

As similar home advantage was absent for VfB Stuttgart in their game against Nuremberg. Stuttgart was losing going into the locker room and again at the end of the game. Nurenburg opened strong with a goal from Sven Müller in the sixth minute and another from Markus Schroth just five minute later.

Stuttgart fought back in the second half leveling the score at two apiece when Fernando Meira and Imre Szabics scored in the 52nd and 71st minutes. Nuremberg took the lead back in the 83rd minute when Marek Mintal put the ball in the back of the net, only to be followed by teammate Schroth's second goal of the game in the 85th minute.

There would only be two upsets this week though. Bayer Leverkusen continued its streak of away wins with a dominating 4:0 win against Bochum and moved into fourth place in the overall rankings and just two points behind Stuttgart.

First half goals came from Leverkusen's Jacek Krzynowek and Andrej Woronin, while it was Robson Ponte and former Bochum player Paul Freier who took away and illusions Bochum might have had at winning in the second half and put Bochum's coach Peter Neururer's job in jeopardy.

Hanover 96 was able to enjoy their 1:0 win over Arminia Bielefeld. The goal from Daniel Stendel in the 30th minute kept fifth-placed Hanover in the running for a place in the UEFA Cup and pushed Bielefeld down one spot to 12th place.

Hamburg takes three points

Fußball-Bundesliga, Schalke 04 gegen 1.FC Kaiserslautern

Tomasz Waldoch from Poland of FC Schalke 04 reacts during the first division soccer match against 1. FC Kaiserslautern in the Kaiserslautern.

Hamburg stayed in ninth place but took three points from Mainz with a 2:1 win. Hamburg's Sergej Barberez gave his team the lead they didn't lose, though Mainz was able to tie things with a Benjamin Auer just before the halftime whistle. In the second half Benjamin Lauth came in off the bench to give Hamburg the win in the 80th minute.

Both Borussia Dortmund and Borussia Mönchengladbach could have used a three-point buffer from the relegation zone coming into the match, but had to settle with a point each in a 1:1 draw.

In a match that saw little action, Jan Koller's diving header in the match's 29th minute gave Dortmund a lead it didn't look like they would have to surrender.

Gladbach proved to be more offensive in the second half. Peer Kluge's shot past Dortmund keeper Roman Weidenfeller tied the game and sent both teams off the field sharing a result neither of them hoped for.

Still a chance for Freiburg?

There could be light at the end of the tunnel for SC Freiburg after their 1:0 win at home against VfL Wolfsburg. It was subsitute Zlatan Bajramovic who kept Freiburg alive by socring his first goal of the season in the 57th minute.

Wolfsburg's Kevin Hofland was too aggressive too often in the match and was sent off after receiving his second yellow card just eight minutes before the match ended.

Werder Bremen will play for a chance to jump three places to fifth in the league table when it faces last-placed Hansa Rostock on Sunday.

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