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Sports

Berlin Pins Down Mighty Bayern

Bayern Munich moved nine points clear at the top of the Bundesliga on Tuesday but were frustrated by Hertha Berlin who held them to a goalless draw in the German capital.

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For once, Bayern had to contend with a draw

With Bayern the only one of the top four in action, they turned in a lackluster performance in front of 73,000 spectators at the Olympic Stadium and blew a chance to stretch their lead over second-placed Werder Bremen to 11 points.

"We never really got into our game," Bayern coach Felix Magath said, after his side had arrived only minutes before kickoff due to traffic problems. "We just weren't really concentrating on the task and I don't really know why."

Bayern's Argentinian defender Martin Demichelis threatened with a 14th minute header but an injury-ravaged Berlin side battling for a UEFA Cup place came close to taking the lead when Bayern defender Valerien Ismael almost scored an own goal from Malik Fathi's second-half cross.


20. Spieltag Bundesliga Hertha BSC Berlin gegen FC Bayern München

Munich's Demichelis, left, and Berlin's Bastuerk cross paths

Hertha midfielder Yildiray Bastuerk also forced Oliver Kahn to tip the ball round the post. When Bayern's Peruvian forward Jose Paolo Guerrero replaced the disappointing Roy Makaay with 20 minutes remaining he came close with a header, but Michael Ballack's reigning champions had to settle for only their third draw of the season.

Hertha's satisfied coach, Falko Goetz, said after earning a point which kept his side fifth: "We showed what our team can do when everyone does what they are supposed to do and we could have won the game because we had the better chances."

Borussia Dortmund comfortably beat MSV Duisburg 2-0 thanks to a second-half goal from Markus Brzenska and a 87th-minute penalty converted by Czech star Tomas Rosicky. The home victory moved the 1997 European champions into sixth place.


Real excitement elsewhere

All the night's excitement was produced by the two bottom clubs, Kaiserslautern and FC Cologne, who fought out a thrilling 2-2 draw at 'Lautern's Fritz-Walter-Stadion.

20. Spieltag Bundesliga 1. FC Kaiserslautern gegen 1. FC Köln

Kaiserslautern's Lembi, right, inn a tussle with Cologne's Cabanas


Swiss international striker Marco Streller gave Cologne the lead, but Boubacar Sanogo pulled 'Lautern level from the penalty spot after Cologne defender Lukas Sinkiewicz's handball. Streller got his second goal of the game on 74 minutes after Lukas Podolski played him in, but 18-year-old Fabian Schonheim equalized just two minutes later. However both sides remain deep in trouble, with 14 points each, two fewer than Duisburg.

Two other teams threatened with the drop, Mainz 05 and Arminia Bielefeld, shared the points in a 1-1 draw.

Werder Bremen travel to VfB Stuttgart in the pick of Wednesday's matches, while third-placed SV Hamburg are away to Hannover.



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