Hannover gobble up two rebounds, take Bundesliga lead | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 15.09.2017
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Hannover gobble up two rebounds, take Bundesliga lead

Hannover 96's dream return to the Bundesliga continues. Martin Harnik was in the goals again as they beat visitors Hamburg 2-0 in Friday's fixture. Andre Breitenreiter's men remain unbeaten after four games.

Hannover 2-0 Hamburg 
(Harnik 48', Bebou 82')

Niedersachsenstadion, Hanover

Whatever happened on Friday, a new team was destined to lead the league, at least temporarily. 

Hannover had more of the game although the first half was marked more by its fight than its finesse. It was a similar story in the stands, as several flares shone in the stadium. Some fans even responded by chanting "Ultras out."

When they came, even the goals were scrappy. First Martin Harnik poked home a loose ball from point-blank range, then Ihlam Bebou was quickest to react to a free kick that HSV keeper Mathenia could only parry. 

Bundesliga - Hannover 96 v Hamburger SV (Getty Images/Bongarts//M. Rose)

An early injury to Felipe forced Breitenreiter to send Bebou on, he later scored

Still, Hannover now have 10 points from a possible 12 and take at least a temporary lead in the Bundesliga. Few would have bet on that preseason.

Hamburg, short several attackers like Bobby Wood and Aaron Hunt, were playing after news that the former club president, Wolfgang Klein, had died aged 76.

You can re-read our live updates from the action below.


90+3' -- One last corner from Salihovic, headed to safety. That looks like a wrap.

90+2' -- A late flurry of Hamburg pressure. All credit to them for cracking on, but you can't help thinking even a goal wouldn't help now.

90' -- Three extra minutes.

88' -- Hannover's owner Martin Kind said before the game that the primary target remains avoiding relegation. It's not even nearly time to talk about Leicester just yet. But before long we might be talking about H96 already having sewn up job 1!

86' -- Sub Hamburg: Gotoku Sakai comes on for Santos.

84' -- Sub Hannover: Hero Harnik makes way for Florian Hübner. 

82' -- GOAL! Hannover 2-0 Hamburg (Ihlas Bebou). It's another goal on the rebound, and Mathenia didn't look great in goal. Klaus' free kick was only parried by Mathenia, HSV's entire back line was asleep, and it became a race between Bebou and Harnik to follow up and finish. That looks like 10 points from four games for H96. Not bad...

80' -- Stadium announcer has a chance to talk about something other than flares in the stadium, announcing that 49,000 turned out for Friday's game.

78' -- Sub Hannover: Felix Klaus on for Kenan Karaman.

77' -- Distance shot from Bakalorz on the volley, decent technique but it's still too high.

72' -- Sub Hamburg: Ekdal off and Törles Knöll on, for his Bundesliga debut just two days after his 20th birthday. I'll bet he was only expecting a new smartphone.

69' -- Another cross from the right, and again it's Diekmeier stretching to clear as the last man. Hannover looking good for a second goal.

66' -- Diekmeier to the rescue for Hamburg, clearing a hugely dangerous low cross from Julian Korb and denying the man hovering at the back post.

65' -- Salihovic's first chance in a Hamburg jersey comes from open play. He struck it well but it was blocked. Was it handball? VAR investigates... No, no it was not.

59' -- Stern talking-to but no booking for Jatta after a very clumsy slide tackle. Turns out it was his last act of the night anyway. New signing, formerly a free agent, Sejad Salihovic takes to the field for Hamburg. Hannover need to beware of conceding free kicks with that left peg now on the pitch.

53' -- Fullkrüg blasts one over the bar, as Hannover look energized. That was a decent chance to double down and put Hamburg in serious trouble. 

52' -- Chants of "Spitzenreiter, Spitzenreiter" (league leaders, league leaders) ring out around the ground. Although strictly speaking, the 0-0 draw would have put Hannover up there too.

48' -- GOAL! Hannover 1-0 Hamburg (Martin Harnik). Harnik's done it again! His third in four games. It's not a picture book goal: a back-post header was blocked on the line, and Harnik was first to react and poke it home. They all count though.

46' -- Both sides unchanged after the break.


HT analysis: Both sides want it, neither has really shown the ability to take it so far. There's plenty of rough and tumble, no shortage of misplaced passes, and not too much work for either keeper. Two of the obvious over-performers early this season are demonstrating their limitations. Hannover have looked like the hosts, but it would take a brave soul to call a winner on the evidence available thus far.


45+2' -- Pirmin Schwegler tries his luck from range. But it's on his weaker left, and again, Mathenia is not needed in the HSV goal.

45' -- Three extra minutes. Trace those back to Felipe's early injury.

44 -- We're rather limping towards half time here. Plenty of fire (on the pitch not just in the stands), but there's not a lot of finesse to go with it. Both keepers enjoying quiet nights so far.

38' -- Yellow card Anton, for a foul to stop a promising HSV attack.

34' -- Another "no incendiaries please" appeal from the stadium announcer. "You're disturbing the other fans and hurting your own club," he implores. There have also been choruses of "Ultras out" from fans seemingly upset with the hardcore Hannover following.

29' -- Another Harnik shot, this time with his weaker left. This one went even further over the bar. For all their pressure, Hannover aren't making Mathenia work.

25' -- It seems it's a night for slapstick goalkeeping. Philipp Tschauner goes for a dribble after his opposite number Mathenia's scare. By pure fluke, he managed to beat his man as he kicked the ball onto his other leg. 

23' -- Shot from Martin Harnik, but he blazes it over the bar. HSV weathering quite a storm just now.

20' -- Seconds after the shot, HSV keeper Mathenia's first touch let him down and Niklas Fullkrüg very nearly managed to tackle the goalie. It didn't look pretty, but Mathenia got away with it.

19' -- Roof of the net from range, a tidy shot from Bakalorz. Hannover making the play, with more than 70 percent possession, so far.

15' -- Breitenreiter forced into a big early tactical shuffle. Defender Felipe makes way for attacker Ilhas Bebou. He's taking up a spot on the left wing, and it looks like Schwegler might be dropping back at times to provide more defensive cover.

12' -- Signal from the physio, Felipe's night is done. And replays show why: Schipplock fell onto the Hannover defender, hitting Felipe's shoulder and his groin hard on the way down.

10' -- Another tough challenge and exchange near the corner flag. Hannover defender Felipe is hurt after his tussle with Schipplock. Several other players converge to argue, but the officials manage to calm the scene.

9' -- Slick move from Hannover from left to right breaks down with the final pass. Korb, who played it, probably could have gone for goal himself. 

8' -- Fullkrüg and Papadopoulos get up in each other's grills after battling for a 50-50 ball. Referee chats to both but takes no action.

5' -- Pyrotechnics in the upper gallery, smoke wafts over the pitch. Stadium announcer urges fans to cut it out.

4' -- Holtby takes the free kick, and it's a beauty. But it whizzes just inches wide. Parts of the stadium thought it was in.

3' -- First dangerous scene. Hamburg win a free kick on the edge of the area. Holtby might fancy it.


-- It's not quite on a par with HSV playing St. Pauli, but for these two northern neighbors, tonight's match classes as a derby. Players on pitch ready for the off.

Welcome to our live coverage of Friday's Bundesliga game, after which either Hannover 96 or HSV will take the lead in the Bundesliga table. 

The line-ups are in. Hannover will have to do without new striker Jonathas, ruled out at short notice with a thigh problem. 

HSV, meanwhile, will take to the field as follows.