• Tuesday, 14 April 2009

    Wolfsburg take charge: Bundesliga reviews

    Hoffenheim 0-3 Bochum
    Dortmund 3-1 Cologne
    Energie 2-1 Arminia
    Monchengladbach 1-2 Wolfsburg
    Hannover 2-0 Hertha
    Bayern 4-0 Eintracht
    Schalke 2-0 Karlsruhe
    Stuttgart 1-0 Hamburg
    Leverkusen 1-1 Bremen

    Wolfsburg are clear leaders in Germany after a less-than-convincing win over Gladbach this weekend. Not at their fluent best, Felix Magath's side almost came a cropper against their relegation-troubled opponents as they failed to find their touch in front of goal. Edin Dzeko headed in Zvjezdan Misimovic's cross on 20 minutes, but wasted a host of chances to extend the lead and see off Gladbach with the prolific Grafite most culpable. Indeed, the equaliser duly came with eleven minutes to go, Danté heading in from Marko Marin and they looked good for a valuable point, but Dzeko's long-range shot five minutes from time was only parried and Sascha Riether swooped to claim all three points. Wolfsburg lead by three from Bayern and Hamburg who had differing fortunes. Bayern overcame their dismantling at the Camp Nou with a demolition job of their own, beating hapless Eintracht 4-0. The job was all but done in the first half with early goals to Franck Ribéry, Luca Toni and Lucio. Bastian Schweinsteiger added a fourth after the break and Frankfurt were never a threat. Hamburg went down to a Mario Gomez goal two minutes into stoppage time, preventing Martin Jol's men from keeping pace with Wolfsburg at the top. An entertaining game looked destined to remain goalless until Frank Rost could only parry Tomas Hitzlsperger's powerful long-range shot to the waiting Gomez who finished comfortably.

    Hertha look a spent force after going down to lowly Hannover and had Andriy Voronin sent off a minute from time, just to rub salt into the wound. Mike Hanke and Arnold Bruggink scored the goals before Voronin was shown a straight red for his part in an unseemly brawl late on. Hoffenheim's challenge is all but over now with a surprise defeat at home to Bochum. Hoffenheim finished with nine men. Goalkeeper Daniel Haas and Carlos Eduardo were both dismissed for bad challenges within a minute of one another. By that time, they were already two down to Stanislav Sestak goals and he added another against an increasingly ragged Hoffenheim side who now have it all on for a European place. The result pulls Bochum five points clear of the drop and into a relatively comfortable position. Karlsruhe are all but down after another defeat, 2-0 in Gelsenkirchen, Kevin Kuranyi and Jefferson Farfan with the goals that maintain Schalke's challenge for Europe despite everything they've been through this season. Karlsruhe are five adrift at the bottom after Energie for the first time in ages at home to Arminia. Energie went in front just before the break through Dimitar Rangelov, but they were pegged back moments after the restart by Vlad Munteanu. Ten minutes later, Stanislav Angelov put Energie back ahead with a close range effort. The other relegation issues look like being contested by Arminia, Energie and Gladbach.

    Dortmund kept pace with their neighbours Schalke with a win over Cologne, coming from behind after Nemanja Vucicevic gave Cologne an early lead. Neven Subotic and Tamas Hajnal put Dortmund in front before an own goal from Pedro Genomel sealed it for BvB. The other mid-table battle finished level at one-all in Leverkusen where Tranquilo Barnetta gave the home side an early lead, sweeping in Toni Kroos's through ball. Claudio Pizarro gave Bremen a share of the spoils with a header on the half hour.

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