Mediocre Munich Moves Clear of Pack | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 31.01.2005
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Mediocre Munich Moves Clear of Pack

On a weekend when referees demanded more attention than play on the field, Munich's nearest competitors stumbled. Werder Bremen struggled past Rostock as it managed to clutch one last straw to defend its title.


Munich goalie Olli Kahn needn't be so unhappy -- Berlin didn't score

No matter what the result, Bayern Munich were already assured first place before their match on Sunday against Hertha Berlin. Munich were the benefactors of surprise defeats by Schalke 04 and Stuttgart on Saturday but only managed a mediocre 0-0 draw before a sellout crowd at the rebuilt Olympic Stadium. The result put Felix Magath's side, now with 38 points, one point clear of Schalke.

Sport in Deutschland

An appeal Bremen's stadium scoreboard for the fans to be fair to the referees

Munich looked nervous in the first half as they tried to take undeniable control of the Bundesliga but in those first 45 minutes, they had to fight to avoid falling behind. Berlin have played marvelous soccer to move up towards the top of the table and they wanted to keep that trend going. They played fiercely in the first 15 minutes. At one point, referee Lutz Wagner grabbed the center of attention by disallowing an apparent goal by Nando Rafael in the ninth minute. His assistant had called it correctly from the sideline.

In the second half, Bayern played with more confidence. Substitute striker Paolo Guerrero just missed on a header off a free kick. A shot by Owen Hargreaves just went wide 10 minutes from time. All in all, the chances on both sides were balanced.

Champions Werder Bremen made a big jump in the standings after a hard-fought 3-2 victory over last place Rostock. They stand in fifth place with 31 points, just seven back of leaders Munich.

Schalke and Stuttgart fall to lesser opponents

Schalke had a tough time playing away at Fritz Walter Stadium and was not able to capitalize on their chances against Kaiserslautern. Making good use of the home field advantage, Kaiserslautern took the lead with a goal from Ioannis Amanatidis and then went ahead by two after Stefan Blank converted a penalty kick in the second half.

Fußball-Bundesliga, Schalke 04 gegen 1.FC Kaiserslautern

Kaiserlautern's Ioannis Amanatidis' (right) shot is unstoppable for Schalke keeper Frank Rost

What Kaiserslautern pulled off at home, VfB Stuttgart managed to give away in their game against Nuremberg. In a weak performance unworthy of their status as contenders, Matthias Sammer's squad was down going into the locker room and again at the end of the game. Nuremburg opened strong with a goal from Sven Müller in the sixth minute and another from Markus Schroth just five minute later.

Stuttgart fought back in the second half leveling the score at two apiece when Fernando Meira and Imre Szabics scored in the 52nd and 71st minutes. Nuremberg took the lead back in the 83rd minute when Marek Mintal put the ball in the back of the net, only to be followed by teammate Schroth's second goal of the game in the 85th minute.

Bayer Leverkusen contiune to play solid soccer. They dominated a hapless Bochum side 4-0 and moved into fourth place in the overall standings and just two points behind Stuttgart.

First half goals came from Leverkusen's Jacek Krzynowek and Andrej Woronin, while it was Robson Ponte and former Bochum player Paul Freier who took away any illusions Bochum might have had at winning in the second half. Now Bochum's coach Peter Neururer's job is in jeopardy.

Hanover 96 was able to enjoy their 1-0 win over Arminia Bielefeld. The goal from Daniel Stendel in the 30th minute kept Hanover in the running for a place in the UEFA Cup and pushed Bielefeld down one spot to 12th place.

Hamburg take three points

Fußball-Bundesliga, VfB Stuttgart gegen 1. FC Nürnberg

VfB Stuttgart's Kevin Kuranyi lost this challenge and his team lost the match to Nuremburg, 4-2

Hamburg stayed in ninth place with their 2-1 victory over Mainz. Hamburg's Sergej Barberez gave his team the lead they didn't lose, though Mainz was able to tie things with a Benjamin Auer goal just before the halftime whistle. In the second half Benjamin Lauth came in off the bench to give Hamburg the win in the 80th minute.

Both Borussia Dortmund and Borussia Mönchengladbach could have used a three-point buffer from the relegation zone coming into the match, but had to settle with a point each in a 1-1 draw.

In a match that saw little action, Jan Koller's diving header in the 29th minute gave Dortmund a lead it didn't look like they would surrender as Gladbach played sluggishly.

Dick Advocaat's side proved to be more offensive in the second half. Peer Kluge's shot past Dortmund keeper Roman Weidenfeller tied the game and sent both teams off the field sharing a result neither of them hoped for.

Still a chance for Freiburg ?

There could be light at the end of the tunnel for SC Freiburg after their 1-0 win at home against slumping VfL Wolfsburg. It was substitute Zlatan Bajramovic who kept Freiburg's hopes alive of staying in the top league by scoring his first goal of the season in the 57th minute.

Wolfsburg's Kevin Hofland was too aggressive too often in the match and was sent off after receiving his second yellow card just eight minutes before the match ended.

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