Hannover cruise, Stuttgart lose, Gladbach salvage draw | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 26.09.2012
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Hannover cruise, Stuttgart lose, Gladbach salvage draw

Szabolcs Huszti remains perhaps the hottest property in the Bundesliga just now, after helping Hannover to third in the table with a 4-1 win over Nuremberg. The evening's other four games were similarly high scoring.

Hungarian international Szabolcs Huszti scored one and set up two in Hannover's 4-1 walk in the park against visitors Nuremberg. Huszti has three goals and seven assists to his name already this season, and has helped haul the northern side to third in the table behind perfect Bayern Munich and flying Frankfurt.

Szabolcs Huszti celebrates his goal

Huszti has either scored or created 10 goals in just four league games

Hannover put the game to bed in the first half with goals from Lars Stindl and then Huszti. Striker Didier Ya Konan picked up a brace early in the second half, before US international Timothy Chandler snagged a meaningless consolation goal in the 73rd minute. Hannover and sometimes Germany goalie Ron-Robert Zieler picked the right match for a rare mistake between the sticks, handling Chandler's rather innocuous effort.

The night was rather more miserable, though, for another two German sides also duking it out in the Europa League.

Stuttgart sinking

William Kwist tries to get the ball in the game against Hoffenheim

Stuttgart finished last season on a tear, they may now have a tear in their eyes

Stuttgart's Vedad Ibisevic was back in the line-up after a suspension for Wednesday's home game against Hoffenheim, and he nearly put them ahead with a diving header in the first attack of the night. Little did coach Bruno Labbadia know that this was his side's high water mark.

Just a few minutes later, Hoffenheim's 20-year-old Japanese forward Takashi Usami danced through the left side of the Stuttgart defense and finished coolly to put Hoffenheim ahead. They held that lead until the break, and finished Stuttgart off early in the second period.

New signing Joselu, from the Real Madrid youth ranks, scored his first for the club and doubled Hoffenheim's lead before Fabian Johnson finished off the fixture, following up to finish a parried shot from Usami.

The 3-0 home defeat leaves Stuttgart, the third best team in Germany after last season's winter break, second-to-last in the Bundesliga with just two points from their first five games.

Gladbach scoring, somehow

Rafael van der Vaart celebrates his goal

Van der Vaart scored the hard one in style, later to miss from the spot

Coach Lucien Favre's new-look Borussia Mönchengladbach is still seeking its rhythm, and delivered another disappointing performance against visitors Hamburg. Until the game's death throes, Gladbach looked destined to lose.

Netherlands international and Hamburg returnee Rafael van der Vaart scored his 30th Bundesliga goal - the first since his return - in characteristic style. The creative midfielder rifled home a left-footed volley from the edge of the area, leaving a stunned Marc-Andre ter Stegen no chance in the Gladbach goal.

Gladbach were only able to draw level from a corner kick; Martin Stranzl rose to head home Havard Nordtveit's delivery. Before the break, Hamburg reestablished their lead, courtesy of Latvian summer signing and striker Artjoms Rudnevs.

Gladbach went down to 10 men in the second half after some suspect defending. Goal scorer Stranzl conceded a penalty and was dismissed for a professional foul - though replays suggested a refereeing error. Those Gladbach fans who believe in karma might have grinned when van der Vaart struck the spot kick low against ter Stegen's left post.

A set piece, and Juan Arango's brilliant left boot, saved Gladbach's bacon in stoppage time. The Venezuelan whipped in a swift cross from the right, and new signing Dominguez jumped highest to head in an improbable equalizer. Despite looking the lesser side, Gladbach have drawn their last two league games.

Leverkusen waltz past rock-bottom Augsburg

Sebastian Mielitz of Werder Bremen dives, trying to stop a Jonathan Schmid free kick

Bremen keeper Sebastian Mielitz had no chance against Schmid's free kick

Bayer Leverkusen wrapped up three points in the first half against hosts Augsburg, banging in three goals before the break. Stefan Kiessling opened the scoring with a shot that might just have crossed the line, after Gonzalo Castro's shot hit the underside of the bar and bounced out.

Philipp Wollscheid doubled the lead with a deflected volley from a scrappy corner, and out-of-sorts German international Andre Schürrle bagged a welcome goal moments before the break. Tobias Werner's goal was worth little to Augsburg, who are rooted at the bottom of the table with just one point. Three points move Leverkusen back into the top half of the table after a shaky start to the season, but they are still adrift of the European spots.

Werder Bremen were able to overcome an away deficit to win in Freiburg. Jonathan Schmid put the hosts in front with a textbook free-kick curled over the wall into Sebastian Mielitz's top corner, but the second half belonged to Bremen.

Joseph Akpala tied the score for Bremen shortly after the re-start, and impressive loan acquisition Kevin de Bruyne played a slick pass to set up Aaron Hunt for the winning goal after about one hour's play.

The Bundesliga is back in action on Friday evening, when Schalke travel to Düsseldorf to try to break the Fortuna dam – with newly-promoted Düsseldorf the only top-flight team in Europe not yet to concede a league goal.