Tue, Mar 03, 2009 - Page 18 News List

BUNDES LIGA: Hertha stay top as Hamburg humbled and Bayern draw

FIRING BLANKS Current Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich slipped to fifth place following their goalless stalemate against 10-man Werder Bremen

AFP , BERLIN

Hertha Berlin finished the weekend as Bundesliga leaders after Hamburg were beaten 3-1 at home on Sunday by Wolfsburg for whom Brazilian striker Grafite signaled his return from injury with two goals.

Hertha’s 2-1 win over Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday proved to be enough as Hamburg never looked comfortable against Wolfsburg and Martin Jol’s men remain in second place.

Hamburg’s bid to regain top spot suffered a setback in the 12th minute when midfielder Dennis Aogo fouled Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko and Grafite slotted home the penalty.

The Brazilian grabbed his second on 24 minutes when Wolfsburg’s attack pulled the Hamburg defense to pieces and the Brazilian again fired home past Hamburg goalkeeper Frank Rost.

Despite missing the last three games through injury, Grafite has now scored nine goals in his last six league games.

Hamburg pulled a goal back through Peru striker Jose Guerrero on 72 minutes, but Wolfsburg pulled 3-1 ahead when Dzeko scored his sixth goal in the last four league games on 76 minutes.

The result leaves Wolfsburg fourth — four points off Hertha — and pushed defending champions Bayern Munich further down the table to fifth after they drew 0-0 at ten-man Werder Bremen.

“We have lacked the necessary penetration,” said midfield player Tim Borowski as Bayern have now taken just four points from their last five games.

“We struggled to create some chances to score and maybe we are just missing that little bit of luck,” he said.

Despite hammering Sporting Lisbon 5-0 away in Portugal in the Champions League in midweek, Bayern could not break the Werder defense despite Bremen having defender Naldo sent off after just 15 minutes.

Naldo was shown a straight red for hauling down Bastian Schweinsteiger when the midfielder was clear through on goal.

Both striker Miroslav Klose and midfielder Franck Ribery went close, but neither could get past Bremen ’keeper Christian Vander.

Stuttgart moved up to seventh after their 2-0 win over strugglers Karlsruhe after Brazilian midfielder Elson scored in the 50th minute before Sami Khedira added a second with a late strike.

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