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Sports

Bayern Munich Going for the Top

Bayern Munich signalled their intention to wrestle back the Bundesliga crown from the grasp of Werder Bremen with midfielder Sebastian Deisler an inspiration in an opening 2-0 win at SV Hamburg on Saturday.

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Munich's midfielder Michael Ballack was jubilant Saturday

Bremen defeated Schalke 04 1-0 on Friday and Bayern responded with Felix Magath celebrating his first competitive match as their coach with three points at the AOL-Arena.

"I am happy with the result but we had some real problems at times," declared Magath.

Magath rolled out the big guns with Brazilian World Cup winner Lucio and German international Torsten Frings - bought for a combined 21 million euros - in the starting line-up, but it was Deisler who stole the show.

"I look forward to every game at the moment," enthused Deisler. "I really believe we can achieve something this season."

German international Deisler, 24, built on his sterling two-goal display in the 3-2 League Cup win over Werder Bremen with another stellar performance scoring a trademark free-kick for the second goal.

Deisler missed six months of last season after being diagnosed with depression but now seems to be back on track after a good pre-season.

Michael Ballack broke the deadlock on 22 minutes with Brazilian Ze Roberto backheeling the ball into his path and the German international rifled a shot into the bottom corner.

Stuttgart vs Mainz

Fußball Bundesliga 04/05 Spezialbild 1. Spieltag VfB Stuttgart - FSV Mainz 05

Magath's former club VfB Stuttgart also collected maximum points as Brazilian marksman Cacau netted a hat-trick (20,29,78) in a 4-2 win over debutants Mainz 05 on Sunday.

Stuttgart, now under the guidance of Matthias Sammer, lie top of the table on goal difference with SV Hamburg propping up the rest.

Reigning champions Werder Bremen needed a late goal from Paraguayan substitute Nelson Haedo Valdez to steal the home win over Schalke 04.

Ailton vs Klose

Fußball Bundesliga 04/05 Spezialbild 1. Spieltag Bremen - Schalcke 04

The encounter was billed as a duel between Brazilian striker Ailton - returning to the Weserstadion in the colours of Schalke - and his five million euro replacement Miroslav Klose - but it was Valdez who snatched the headlines.

Valdez, 20, replaced German international Klose with 74 minutes gone and needed just nine minutes to have an impact prodding home a knockdown from Valerien Ismael in the 83rd minute to leave Ailton and Schalke deflated.

"It was really disappointing to lose like that," said Ailton. "Conceding late on really hurts as we played really well."

A power cut had delayed the kick off of the 2004/05 Bundesliga season by around 70 minutes but it was worth the wait for the bulk of the 43,000 fans at the Weserstadion who hope Bremen can build on their league and cup double last season.

While wins for Bremen and Bayern were expected, the first shock of the Bundesliga season occured at the Westfalen Stadium.

Borussia vs Wolfsburg

Fußball Bundesliga 04/05 Spezialbild 1. Spieltag Borrussia Dortmund VfL Wolfsburg

Borussia Dortmund, who had the second best home record last term, fell to a 2-1 reverse against VfL Wolfsburg despite taking the lead through Brazilian Ewerthon on the half hour mark.

New Dutch manager Bert van Marwijk saw his first Bundesliga match end in defeat as Wolfsburg came from behind to notch a first ever win at Dortmund thanks to two strikes from Thomas Bradric.

"I am so disappointed," said van Marwijk. "We had countless chances but could not convert them."

"I can not believe one of them did not go in."

Fußball Bundesliga 2004 Bayer Leverkusen - Hannover 96 2 : 1

Another team forced into a comeback was Bayer Leverkusen who needed a strike from Brazilian Franca at the death to claim a 2-1 win over Hannover at the BayArena.

Michael Tarnat, a recent recruit from Manchester City, put Hannover ahead with a blistering free-kick on the quarter hour mark but Bernd Schneider equalised in the 49th minute and Franca saved the day. "We were fortunate," admitted Bayer coach Klaus Augenthaler. "Both sides were content with the draw but fortunately we have players who come good in front of goal."

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