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Sports

Mainz Victorious as Munich Remains Bundesliga Leader

Mainz triumphed over Wolfsburg Sunday, but this didn't change much at the top of the Bundesliga, where leaders Bayern Munich had to live with a scoreless draw against Stuttgart, while Hamburg beat Cologne 3:1.

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Mainz had a lot to celebrate Sunday

On Sunday, Mainz hosted Wolfsburg and rewarded fans with a 5:1 victory, which led the team away from relegation zone proximity.

Mainz's Michael Thurk scored the first goal in the 3rd minute before Wolfsburg's Diego Klimowicz evened the score just one minute later. Mainz took the lead again 32 minutes later with a goal by Benjamin Auer, expanding the lead in the 45th minute after Petr Rumann scored. Mohamed Zidan gave Mainz a 4:1 lead in the 51st minute. Michael Thurk scored again for Mainz in the 77th minute.

Bayer Leverkusen vs.Hertha BSC

Leverkusen's Tranquillo Barnetta (right) and Berlin's Gilberto da Silva challenge for the ball

In Leverkusen, Dimitar Berbatov on Sunday scored at home in the 20th minute, with Hertha's Yildiray Bastürk equalizing in the 58th minute. Marcelinho scored for Hertha in the 64th minute.

Hamburg closes i n o n Mu n ich

Scoring their 600th win since the creation of the Bundsliga, Hamburg SV on Saturday were able to cut Bayern's lead atop the German top flight to four points. At the table's other end Nuremburg booked a 1:0 win against Borussia Mönchengladbach and left relegation zone for the time being.

Neither side in the Bayern-Stuttgart duel left the field pleased in what was a reverse homecoming for both Stuttgart trainer Giovanni Trapattoni, who once led Bayern Munich, and current Bayern coach Felix Magath, who turned a young Stuttgart side into title contenders in 2003.

The return of national team captain Michael Ballack to Bayern couldn't make up for losing Sebastian Deisler who received a red card for retaliatory kick at Ludovic Magninin in the first half of the game in Stuttgart. Besides Diesler's foul, there wasn't much worth watching during the first half of the Bundesliga's match of the week.

"It was a dumb mistake," Deisler said after the game. "I'm sorry for my team mates."

Though Stuttgart's ability to share is enough to make any kindergarten teacher beam with pride -- the team has split points on 10 of the last 15 occasions -- Trappattoni won't be able to meet his club's target of 10 points in the last five matches, leaving his coaching future in questions.

"We could not profit from having the extra man which is a shame," Trapattoni said.

U n ruly Colog n e fa n s overshadow Hamburg match

Hamburger SV vs. 1.FC Köln

Ball battle: Hamburg's defender Daniel van Buyten (left), and Köln's Roland Benschneider

Germany's fight to cut out hooliganism ahead of the 2006 World Cup suffered a setback in Hamburg when Cologne fans threw several objects, including drumsticks, onto the pitch and injured Hamburg defender Alexander Laas, who had blood gushing from his head. Lass was able to return to the match after being treated by team physicians.

"I went to celebrate with my teammates and got hit by a hard object," the midfielder recalled. "That is obviously not part of soccer."

As one of the World Cup's 12 host cities, Cologne and the actions of their fans will be a major concern for the organizing committee who have taken a zero-tolerance stance on hooliganism.

"I apologized to everyone concerned," said Cologne general manager Andreas Rettig. "The incident was not acceptable."

In sporting affairs, it was Benjamin Lauth who scored in the 54th minute to put hosts Hamburg two goals in front of Cologne, following an opener from Cameroon international Thimothee Atouba. Cologne's Björn Schlicke cut the difference to one in 58th minute until Sergej Barbarez finished scoring for Hamburg.

Breme n come two poi n ts closer to top

Werder Bremen pounced on Bayern's slip moving to within six points of the reigning champions with a 2:0 win over MSV Duisburg at the Weserstadion. Paraguayan international Nelson Haedo Valdez and Tim Borowski netted to keep Bremen in third.

"We had to be patient right until the final whistle," said Bremen trainer Thomas Schaaf. "We did not clinch the game until late on, but it is another important three points."

Arminia Bielefeld vs. FC Schalke 04

Schalke's Christian Poulsen celebrates his goal

Schalke remained in fourth place after beating Arminia Bielefeld 1:0. Schalke will be glad to have some positive momentum going into their match this week against AC Milan.

"We deserved our win because of the second half," Schalke trainer Ralf Rangnick said. "Things got exciting again at the end because we couldn't finish our chances to counter attack."

New coaches helpi n g Ha n over , Nuremberg

Hanover have claimed seven points in their first three games under coach Peter Neururer, the most recent three coming in a 2:0 win at Borussia Dortmund on goals from Steven Cherundolo and Christoph Dabrowski.

Nuremberg's new coach Hans Meyer has also been successful, celebrating his second win in three matches with a 1:0 win against Borussia Mönchengladbach. Not even a red card for Bartosz Bosacki in extra time could put a damper Nuremburg's third victory of the season as they moved into 15th place and out of the relegation zone.

Before the match Mönchengladbach parted ways with Brazilian international striker Giovane Elber, whose 133 goals in 256 matches make him the most successful foreigner in Bundesliga history. He'll be able to start taking bids from new clubs when the transfer window opens in January.

Stadium damage i n Kaiserslauter n postpo n es game

Modell des Fritz-Walter-Stadions

The real Fritz Walter Stadium also proved to need a bit of work

Doubts over the safety of the stadia for the 2006 World Cup in Germany resurfaced when Kaiserslautern's Fritz Walter Stadium was unable to host the match against Eintracht Frankfurt due to cracks in the roof.

The German Football League (DFL) cancelled the match as a precautionary measure and rescheduled the match for Dec. 14.

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