High-Flying Hoffenheim Back on Top, Bayern Move to Third Spot | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 02.11.2008
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High-Flying Hoffenheim Back on Top, Bayern Move to Third Spot

Eintracht Frankfurt came from behind to inflict a 2-1 home defeat on Borussia Moenchengladbach in the German Bundesliga on Sunday. Hoffenheim reclaimed the top spot with a win Saturday.

Hoffenheim's Vedad Ibisevic celebrates as he scores the opening goal against Karlsruhe

Hoffenheim's Vedad Ibisevic celebrates as he scores the opening goal against Karlsruhe

Goals in each half from Martin Fenin and Michael Fink gave Frankfurt victory after Moenchengladbach had taken the lead courtesy of a Marco Russ own goal.

The win lifts Frankfurt (12 points) further from the relegation zone, while Moenchengladbach stay second to bottom on seven points, one ahead of Energie Cottbus.

Frankfurt and Gladbach players fight for the ball

Frankfurt's three points may prove crucial to avoiding relegation

"We have a lot of mental problems -- psychological," Moenchengladbach coach Hans Meyer said after a second defeat after three games in charge. "The situation is bad, very bad."

In the other Bundesliga match on Sunday, Nov. 2, Borussia Dortmund were held to a 1-1 draw by Bochum -- their sixth of the season -- in a disappointing Ruhr derby.

Dortmund stay sixth on 18 points -- seven points behind leaders Hoffenheim.

It was a sixth game without a defeat for Dortmund who have only been beaten once this season, but have now drawn six.

"The way we played we didn't deserve more than a point," coach Juergen Klopp said. "We have been unbeaten in so many games, but it's time we won a home game."

Hoffenheim back on top

Hoffenheim players celebrate a goal

Hoffenheim has scored more goals than any other Bundesliga team

Hoffenheim thrashed Karlsruhe 4-1 on Saturday to reclaim the top spot. The win puts Rolf Rangnick's side onto to 25 points from 11 games, one more than Bayer Leverkusen, who had gone top overnight after defeating Wolfsburg 2-0 on Friday.

High-scoring Hoffenheim's winning run continued at their interim home in Mannheim, with league top scorer Ibisevic taking his tally to 13 and the team moving up to 31 goals.

After a 15th-minute opener from Ibisevic, Karlsruhe bounced back through Sebastian Freis and the visitors managed to frustrate the home side until Obasi struck in the 67th.

Any hopes of another comeback were then quashed when Ibisevic headed his second in the 75th and Obasi scored again three minutes later.

Klose, Ribery, Podolski score for Bayern

Podolski, Klose and Ribery

Podolski, Klose and Ribery who all scored for Bayern

Bayern earned a hard-fought 3-1 victory over lowly Bielefeld thanks to goals from Miroslav Klose, Franck Ribery and substitute Lukas Podolski from the penalty spot to go third on 21 points.

Bayern Munich made it a fourth straight league win, but left it relatively late to overcome Bielefeld in a one-sided match.

Coach Juergen Klinsmann found no place in the starting line-up for Podolski despite the injury absence of Italy striker Luca Toni, preferring to start with a five-man midfield and Klose as a lone striker.

Klinsmann insisted it was a tactical decision rather than a lack of confidence in Podolski, saying he wanted to test the formation ahead of Wednesday's Champions League encounter with Fiorentina.

It appeared to pay off when Klose thumped in a 25th-minute opener against an injury-hit Arminia side who had not won in Munich for 29 years.

Klinsmann switched tactics after the break and an Armenia goal from the penalty spot, bringing on Podolski for Bastian Schweinsteiger and the move worked when the Germany striker set up Ribery to score in the 77th minute.

Podolski then notched the third himself from the penalty spot six minutes from time after a foul on Ribery and two minutes after Tesche was dismissed for a tackle from behind on the French international.

Klinsmann had said in a newspaper interview Podolski had not done enough to get into the team ahead of Klose or Toni, but there was praise for the striker after the match.

"He brought a lot of movement into the game and went into where it hurt, getting into the penalty area and seeking to finish things off," he said.

However Podolski's future at the club now appears to be in doubt.

"You can understand that I will be considering things in the winter break," the striker said. "But we have some important games coming up and I don't want to get involved in speculation."

Diego helps Werder to huge win


Bremen's Diego, center, as he slots the ball in

Hamburg slipped two places to fifth after crashing to a 3-0 defeat at lowly Hanover who struck in the fifth and 18th minutes through Bastian Shultz and Jan Schlaudraff before Jiri Stajner added a third 11 minutes from time.

Werder Bremen swept to a 5-1 victory over Hertha Berlin to end a six-game unbeaten series by the visitors.

Goalkeeper Christopher Gaeng on his debut was at fault for the first goal in the 14th minute when he missed a Diego corner and the ball came off defender Gojko Kacer to deflect into his own net.

Diego struck a brilliant second six minutes later when he chested the ball down just inside the area and twisted to volley the ball over the keeper.

The game was effectively over when Sweden striker Markus Rosenberg poked the ball between the legs of the unfortunate Gaeng from close range three minutes before the break for Werder's third.

Diego then set up the fourth with a pass to Claudio Pizarro who slid the ball home in the 59th. Hertha pulled one back with a header from Brazilian Cicero in the 68th but Pizarro headed a fifth five minutes from time.

The victory was the first in the league for Thomas Schaaf's team after six games in the league and Champions League.

Late victory for Schalke

Schalke's Engelaar was sent off at Cottbus for an insulting gesture -- tapping his forehead with his index finger to a linesman, leaving Schalke to play most of the second half with 10 men.

However goals from Heikko Westermann 10 minutes from time and Jefferson Farfan in the last minute -- at the second attempt after his penalty was saved -- gave the Blues a late victory.

Milivoje Novakovic scored twice and Portugal midfielder Petit struck in stoppage time as Cologne came away from VfB Stuttgart with a 3-1 win.

The Slovenia striker struck in the 3rd and 61st minutes. Roberto Hilbert pulled one back in the 69th but then made a mistake to allow Petit to score in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

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