Tue, Feb 12, 2008 - Page 18 News List

BUNDES LIGA: Bayern stay top despite being held

AFP , BERLIN

PHOTO: REUTERS

Leaders Bayern Munich stayed three points clear of the chasing Bundesliga pack despite a 1-1 draw with second-placed Werder Bremen at the Allianz Arena on Sunday.

Although Bremen took the lead in Munich through in-form midfielder Diego, Brazilian midfielder Ze Roberto leveled before the break for the German giants, who are chasing their 21st championship crown.

Bayern's supremacy will be put to the test however in the coming three weekends when they face title rivals Hanover, Hamburg and Schalke 04.

Bremen appeared to be on their way to joining Bayern at the top of the table after the hosts took an early lead.

Brazilian Diego, who ruled out a switch to Juventus on Saturday despite reports from Italy stating he was interested in moving, shrugged off two defenders and beat Oliver Kahn with his shot after just six minutes.

But compatriot Ze Roberto put Bayern level just after the half-hour mark when he buried his shot past Bremen's goalkeeper Tim Wiese.

The goal saved Luca Toni's blushes after he missed a penalty moments earlier which would have made him the league's leading scorer rather than joint leader on 10 with Hamburg's Rafael van der Vaart.

Schalke 04 are now up to third after midfielder Fabian Ernst hit a late winner at Borussia Dortmund to seal a 3-2 victory, a slight revenge for their 2-0 defeat at the Signal Iduna Park last May which cost them the title.

Former Germany international Gerald Asamoah put his side ahead on 19 minutes, but Dortmund hit back just two minutes later when Giovanni Federico netted for the hosts.

Schalke regained the lead when Asamoah's free kick took a deflection off Martin Amedick on 30 minutes, but Thomas Doll's side pulled level again with the best goal of the game.

Brazilian midfielder Tinga broke from his own half, his pass found Swiss captain Alexander Frei, whose cross was headed home by Croatian midfielder Mladen Petric for his ninth goal of the season before Ernst struck on 82 minutes.

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