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Leverkusen stay in touch with league leaders as Mainz falter

In German Bundesliga football, three high-scoring matches saw draws between Werden Bremen and Schalke, and Kaiserslautern and Stuttgart. Gladbach, Hanover and Bayer Leverkusen all came away with three points.

Mainz's Christian Fuchs, right, in a duel with Hannover's Steven Cherundolo.

Mainz's loss sees Dortmund open up a seven point lead

In the German Bundesliga, Bayer Leverkusen kept themselves in the title race with a late 1-0 victory at St. Pauli. The win pushed Leverkusen up to second place ahead of Mainz, who lost 1-0 to Hanover in Saturday's late game.

Elsewhere, Cologne slumped to a 4-0 home defeat against Moenchengladbach; Kaiserslautern came from three goals down to draw 3-3 with Stuttgart; and Wolfsburg drew 2-2 with Schalke. Bremen and Frankfurt ended their match in a goalless draw.

In Hamburg, Leverkusen attacking midfielder Renato Augusto netted for the away team in the 81st minute in a game that saw seven yellow cards given to players from either team.

Stuttgart's Arthur Boka celebrates after scoring

Stuttgart let a 3-goal lead slip

Spectators at the Millerntor Stadium witnessed a game of two completely different halves. While the guests dominated the first 45 minutes, St. Pauli found their feet in the second half and began to look the more threatening.

Both teams missed several chances to take the lead prior to Augusto's winner. The victory means Leverkusen move up to second place with 24 points, equal with Mainz but ahead on goal difference. St. Pauli's fourth consecutive loss means they stay in 13th position with 13 points.

Leverkusen were done a favor in Saturday's late game when Mainz went down 1-0 as they hosted Hanover, who were in dire need of the win to send them back up to the top five on the ladder.

Hanover shot to the lead in the 44th minute through a wondergoal from midfielder Sergio Pinto that left Mainz goalie Christian Wetklo with no chance.

Mainz looked to have been thrown a lifeline in the 68th minute when USA international Steven Cherundolo received his second yellow card of the game and was given his marching orders. However the home team were unable to capitalize on the one-man advantage and the game saw no further goals.

The loss, only Mainz's fourth of the season, sees them drop down to third place on 24 points, while Hanover move up to fifth on 19 points.

Spirited fight-back

Earlier, in Kaiserslautern, the home team found itself three goals down by the 50-minute mark thanks to strikes from Stuttgart's Arthur Boka, Germany striker Cacau and midfielder Christian Gentner.

The hosts put in a memorable fight-back, however, with three goals in the final third of the game for the scores to end 3-3. Ilijan Micanski opened the scoring for Kaiserslautern in the 58th minute, with Ivo Ilicevic grabbing his team's second in the 76th, and Mathias Abel scoring the equalizer two minutes later.

Moenchengladbach players Michael Bradley, left, and Raul Bobadilla celebrate

Bradley, left, and Bobadilla scored three of 'Gladbach's goals

The solitary point means Kaiserslautern narrowly avoid slipping into the relegation zone and remain in 15th place on 11 points. Stuttgart also find themselves on 11 points, though one place above Kaiserslautern on for and against.

In Cologne, the home team managed to hold on without conceding for 50 minutes in their clash with Borussia Moenchengladbach, but the floodgates opened once the visitors scored their opener through Argentinean striker Raul Bobadilla.

Twenty minutes later, US national team player Michael Bradley bagged 'Gladbach's second, with Igor de Camargo grabbing a third goal 12 minutes later, and Bobadilla scoring a second for himself one minute into injury time.

The much-needed three points lifts 'Gladbach off the foot of the league ladder into 17th place on 10 points. Cologne, meanwhile, assume last place from their opponents, and remain on a miserly eight points from 12 games.

Wolfsburg let lead slip

In Wolfsburg, Schalke claimed a point as they fought back from 2-0 down to draw at Wolfsburg after strikers Edin Dzeko and Grafite both scored for the hosts.

With the Wolves cruising at 2-0 with half an hour played, Schalke hit back with goals by Brazil striker Edu on 39 minutes and Dutch striker Klaas Jan Huntelaar, who scored his seventh goal of the season to equalize in the second half. The result leaves in Schalke 16th on 10 points and Wolfsburg in 12th on 14 points.

Wolfsburg's Edin Dzeko, right, celebrates his sides second goal

Wolfsburg couldn't hold onto a two-goal lead

The day's fifth early game saw Bremen - who were desperate for a win after a 6-0 thumping last week to Stuttgart - play out a 0-0 draw with Frankfurt at home. The point for each team means both maintain their table positions, with Bremen in 11th on 15 points, and Frankfurt in fourth on 20 points.

In Friday night's game, Dortmund were too good at home for Hamburg, running out 2-0 winners, and consolidating their position at the head of the table.

Author: Darren Mara
Editor: Sean Sinico

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