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Novakovic hat-trick lifts Cologne off bottom spot

In Saturday's Bundesliga matches, Cologne moved up from the bottom of the table by beating Hamburg 3-2 with a hat-trick by striker Milivoje Novakovic. Bremen, Moenchengladbach, Stuttgart and St. Pauli lost their games.

Cologne's Milivoje Novakovic of Slovenia, left, scores against Hamburg's goalkeeper Jaroslav Drobny

Novakovic's hat-trick gives Cologne a much-needed lift

Cologne football fans at last had reasons to be cheerful - three to be precise. Slovenian striker Milivoje Novakovic, much neglected by fired coach Zvonimir Soldo, scored a hat-trick in Saturday's Bundesliga clash with Hamburg, giving Cologne a 3-2 win over their northern rivals.

It is interim coach Frank Schaefer's second victory, after Cologne beat second league club 1860 Munich 3-0 in Tuesday's German Cup clash.

Novakovic put Cologne in the lead in the 11th minute, but four minutes later Hamburg's Mladen Petric equalized. Another goal for Hamburg followed, with South Korean Heung-Min Son scoring in his first Bundesliga match.

But Novakovic was back with an equalizer in the 29th minute before scoring the winning goal six minutes before time. Cologne have moved up to 15th place on the league table, leaving Moenchengladbach languishing at the bottom.

Almeida cheering his goal

It all went downhill for Bremen after Almeida's 1-0 goal

Northern blues

Another northern German soccer team, Werder Bremen, also lost their match on Saturday, leaving them in 11th place on the table. Despite clearly dominating the game and taking the lead five minutes in with a goal by Hugo Almeida, Nuremberg managed to score three goals, giving them their first away win of the season.

Hamburg-based club St.Pauli also suffered a defeat, not least because it spent most of the second half down to 10 men, so that Frankfurt walked away with a 3-1 win. It's Frankfurt's fifth victory in six games - the club is now in fourth place on 16 points. Frankfurt's Theofanis Gekas struck twice to go top of the scorers' list with nine goals from 10 games.

Schalke's Huntelaar

Schalke's Klaas-Jan Huntelaar hit the bar but not the net

Schalke crisis continues

Schalke, however, remain down in the dumps. In Saturday’s late game, coach Felix Magath’s side lost to 0-1 to Bayer Leverkusen, leaving Schalke second to last on the table. Schalke are now five home games without victory, although this time they almost made it. Striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar hit the bar twice but failed to put the ball in the net. The winning goal for Leverkusen was scored by Sidney Sam in the 65th minute.

Wolfsburg celebrated their first win in four games when they beat Stuttgart with goals in either half from Simon Kjaer and captain Edin Dzeko, to move up to 12th spot on 13 points from 10 games.

Borussia Moenchengladbach are now bottom of the table, from a 3-0 defeat at Kaiserslautern. On Friday, Bayern Munich's old form shone through, as they beat Freiburg 4-2.

Table toppers Mainz and Dortmund are due to clash on Sunday.

Author: Nicole Goebel (SID, dpa, Reuters)
Editor: Andreas Illmer

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