Hamburg Win to Take Over at Top of Bundesliga | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 22.02.2009
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Sports

Hamburg Win to Take Over at Top of Bundesliga

Hamburg moved to the top of the Bundesliga as two goals from Marcell Jansen secured a 2-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen. The win put the new leaders two points ahead of Hoffenheim.

A pair of Hamburg players celebrate a goal against Leverkusen

Hamburg ran off with the German league's top spot

The win on Sunday, Feb. 22, puts some clear air between Martin Jol's side and Hoffenheim and Hertha Berlin, who are both tied for second place on 40 points with 21 matches played after slipping up in Saturday matches.

"To beat Leverkusen away is an exceptional result," said Jol. "If we can manage to reduce our errors then we can be top at the very end."

Hamburg started well at the LTU Arena and went in front after 18 minutes when Germany defender Jansen latched on to a Jose Paolo Guerrero cross and neatly evaded Leverkusen's Simon Rolfes before firing home a right-foot shot from 16 metres.

The lead last just 11 minutes, however, as Manuel Friedlich's cross found striker Patrick Helmes, who clinically netted his 16th goal of the season from a narrow angle.

Missed chances for Bayer

Jensen celebrates while Leverkusen's goalkeeper sits in front of the goal

Jensen, left, scored both goals for Hamburg

Helmes nearly put Leverkusen in front after the break with a fierce free kick that went narrowly wide before Jansen netted his second goal of the game on 67 minutes with a close-range volley.

Hamburg finished the game the stronger and could have extended their lead, but Guerrero's shot went the wrong side of a post.

However, Hamburg were made to play last four minutes with 10 men when second-half substitute Jerome Boateng picked up a second yellow card in the space of 26 minutes.

Despite the loss, Leverkusen stay fifth on 36 points, just two points behind defending champions Bayern Munich who went down to a shock 2-1 home defeat to Cologne on Saturday, meaning Juergen Klinsmann's side have now lost three out of four games since the winter break.

Also Saturday, bottom club Borussia Moenchengladbach ended a run of eight games without a win by downing Hanover 3-2.

Struggling Arminia Bielefeld and Bochum finished 1-1, while lowly Energie Cottbus defeated Werder Bremen 2-1, and second-to-bottom Karlsruhe slipped to a 1-0 home defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt.

On Friday, Schalke and Dortmund played out a 1-1 draw.

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