Oliver Kahn's miserable weekend continued Saturday, conceding three goals as league leaders Bayern Munich slumped to a 3-0 defeat at Werder Bremen, allowing Hamburg to come within four points of the top.
Referee Markus Merck gets a taste of how well Oli Khan is taking things these days
SV Hamburg manager Thomas Doll has always maintained that his team is not hunting Bayern Munich for the Bundesliga title, but he may reconsider after a 2-0 home win over Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Hamburg reclaimed second spot from Werder Bremen, who crushed Bayern 3-0 on Saturday, and are just four points behind the reigning, albeit wobbly, champions with five games left.
It was a tough weekend for German international goalkeeper Oliver Kahn, who Friday discovered he would be Germany's number two at this summer's World Cup finals -- with Arsenal's Jens Lehmann the first choice. He had hoped to ease the pain by helping Bayern edge closer to a 20th German title by winning at Bremen.
Bayern fans show their goalie where he rates in their hearts
But the 36-year-old Kahn was helpless as Bastian Schweinsteiger scored an awful own goal to put Bremen in front on 33 minutes.
It was great to win, particularly against Bayern," said Bremen and Germany striker Miroslav Klose. "Hopefully this gives us a push now until the end of the season."
Danish international Daniel Jensen and Tim Borowski sealed the game late on to pile another dose of misery on Kahn.
"Oliver was very concentrated after the decision was made," explained Bayern coach Felix Magath. "He played well just like he said he would."
Bayern need just 11 points to defend the title but they are stumbling with the finishing line in sight. There are five games left in the Bundesliga season.
"We are still top and have a lead so it is in our hands," added Magath. "I thought we were good today but just did not have any luck. We just have to focus on our next match as we have the chance to reach the cup final."
Hamburg's Sergej Barbarez slips past Kasey Keller
Bremen and Hamburg turn heat up on faltering champs
Hamburg are just concentrating on securing second and an automatic Champions League berth, and a 2-0 win over Mönchengladbach helped their cause.
A penalty from Netherlands international forward Rafael van der Vaart put Hamburg ahead at the AOL-Arena on 34 minutes.
Mönchengladbach stayed in the match until Japanese international striker Naohiro Takahara struck late on to clinch the points. Hamburg now look guaranteed one of the three Champions League spots with fourth-placed Schalke 04 nine points behind.
"Getting back second place was the most important thing," said Hamburg coach Doll. "We are in good form at the moment and everything seems to be going our way."
Bayern will try to turn their slide around against regional side FC Sankt Pauli in the German Cup semi-final on Wednesday. The other semi-final pairing on Tuesday is between Eintracht Frankfurt and Arminia Bielefeld. The two had a dress rehearsal in the league. Bielefeld came out on top with Heiko Westermann scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win.
Schalke and Duisburg split three points both of them needed
Schalke tie, aiming toward UEFA Cup
Schalke drew 1-1 with bottom side MSV Duisburg on Sunday to lose ground on the table leaders.
Danish international Christian Poulsen, set to leave the club in the summer, scored an own goal after 39 minutes as Duisburg took a shock lead.
Soren Larsen made amends for his compatriot's error with an 85th minute equalizer but the point is not enough for Schalke.
"We lost too many challenges so we have to be content with the point," said Schalke coach Mirko Slomka. "I am still optimistic but it is becoming more difficult for us."
Schalke have managed to reach the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup this season and it looks like they will be playing in that competition next season.
For Duisburg, without a manager after sacking their coach Jürgen Kohler last week, the German second division beckons with the club six points from safety.
On-form Klose rejoices in beating an old foe
Klose masterclass timed to perfection as Klinsi looks on
Germany manager Jürgen Klinsmann stirred up a hornets' nest on Friday when he revealed that Kahn was no longer first choice for the Germany team and Bayern chiefs were furious at the timing of the revelation with the Bremen match 24 hours later.
Klinsmann watched the game from the stands with seven German internationals on show.
Bremen forward Klose, one of Klinsmann's stars, enjoyed a great afternoon and brilliantly cut the ball back from the touchline to set up Bremen's opener.
Klose's chipped cross wreaked havoc and Bayern's German international Schweinsteiger tried to clear the danger but his powerful header went into his own net.
Kahn, who had earlier pulled off a magnificent save to thwart Nelson Haedo Valdez, could only pick the ball out of the net.
Bayern should have equalized but spurned a series of guilt-edged chances with Schweinsteiger going close and Michael Ballack hitting the post.
"We had so many chances but none of them went in," said Bayern's French defender Valerien Ismael. "Bremen have the strikers to make you pay and they did that."