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Almeida double dents Hamburg´s title hopes

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 10 May 2009

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Striker Hugo Almeida helped Werder Bremen maintain their stranglehold over Hamburg on Sunday as a 2-0 win seriously dented their rivals’ Bundesliga title aspirations.

The defeat leaves Martin Jol’s Hamburg sixth in the league – and outside the European places – five points behind leaders Wolfsburg with only three games left before the season finishes on May 23.

This was the fourth meeting between the two teams in 19 days and with Bremen having taken the spoils in both the German Cup and UEFA Cup meetings, Werder also took three more points off Hamburg at the Weserstadion.

The Hamburg defence was caught out for both goals as Almeida rifled home having been left unmarked on 34 minutes and then took advantage of a cross from Mesut Oezil to seal the win on 49 minutes.

Having won 3-2 at Hamburg in the UEFA Cup semi-final on Thursday to book their place in the Istanbul final on May 20, the three Bundesliga points on Sunday leaves Bremen tenth.

But the club will have to do without the services of defender Per Mertesacker for the rest of the season after the Germany centre-back picked up an ankle injury in Thursday’s win.

Also on Sunday, Borussia Moenchengladbach pulled themselves out of the bottom three and into 15th with a 1-0 win at home to Schalke 04.

On Saturday, Germany striker Mario Gomez scored all four goals in Stuttgart’s 4-1 win over league leaders Wolfsburg to blow open the title race.

With Bayern Munich, Hertha Berlin and Stuttgart all picking up three points, there is now just two points separating the top four sides in the German league with only three games left.

Gomez is now the league’s joint top-scorer alongside Wolfsburg’s Brazilian striker Grafite with the pair on 23 goals after Gomez’s quartet leaves his side fourth in the table.

Defending champions Bayern Munich drew level with Wolfsburg on 60 points and are only second on goal difference after their 3-1 win at Energie Cottbus.

French midfielder star Franck Ribery, who was linked with a move to Manchester United last week, was left on the bench, but Bayern sealed the win with goals by striker Jose Ernesto Sosa, defender Martin Demichelis and forward Lukas Podolski kept them second.

Hertha Berlin’s 2-0 win at home to strugglers Bochum puts them just a point away from the leaders in third.

Dortmund’s seventh consecutive win sealed a 4-0 victory over Karlsruhe and means they have made a late bid for the Bundesliga title as they move into fifth and could now claim a European place for next season.

Hoffenheim ended their 12-game winless streak with a 2-0 victory over Cologne as Eintracht Frankfurt and Hanover drew 1-1.

Arminia Bielefeld gave themselves a good chance of surviving relegation with a 2-2 draw at Bayer Leverkusen on Friday night.

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