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Bayern buoyant ahead of Bucharest trip

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 14 Sep 2008

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Bayern Munich coach Jurgen Klinsmann said his side's 3-0 win at Cologne this weekend was just as important for their opening Champions League match on Wednesday as their elevated place in the Bundesliga.

A pair of second-half goals by Italian striker Luca Toni, as well as an injury time strike by disgruntled Germany forward Lukas Podolski, took Bayern from seventh to second in the table behind new leaders Hamburg.

Bayern travel to the Romanian capital to face Steaua Bucharest on Wednesday night in Group F.

“That was an important win for us with Wednesday night in mind,” said Klinsmann after the defending champions' second consecutive league win after drawing their first two games.

“We are of course happy with the win, no question.

“This wasn't an easy place to come for us and we created plenty of chances.

“At half-time, we knew we had to move the ball around faster and the chances opened up for us, that is exactly what happened.”

Bayern were finally rewarded for their patience against a stubborn defence when Toni struck with a header from a Bastian Schweinsteiger corner on 53 and the Italian showed his finishing power with a second goal on 60 minutes.

“It was just a training match for Bayern after that,” admitted Cologne coach Christoph Daum as Podolski, who is unhappy to be kept on the reserves bench, grabbed an injury-time goal on a rare appearance.

Both Bayern and Steaua are currently second in their respective league and Bucharest warmed up for Wednesday night's game at the 27,500-capacity Stadionul Ghencea with a 4-1 win at midtable Farul Constanta on Saturday.

New leaders Hamburg knocked Schalke 04 off the top of the table after coming from 2-0 down after 25 minutes to seal a dramatic 3-2 win.

Hamburg's Peruvian striker Jose Paolo Guerrero pulled one back on 36 minutes and Bayer's ex-Germany defender Manuel Friedrich was sent off for a second yellow card three minutes later.

Hamburg were level on 51 minutes when Croatia striker Ivica Olic equalised before Swiss striker Mladen Petric hit the all-important winner on 72 minutes.

“But I am pleased with the fight back, the goal we scored before half-time was very important,” said Hamburg coach Martin Jol.

Nine-man Schalke 04 lost their heads and their place at the top of the table as they slid down to third after drawing 3-3 with neighbours Borussia Dortmund.

The Royal Blues had two players sent off as Dortmund fought back from 2-0 down at half-time with Borussia's Swiss striker Alexander Frei slotting home an 89th minute penalty to seal the dramatic draw.

“It was an entertaining derby for the fans, but I am not happy because we should have won the game at 3-0 up,” said Schalke coach Fred Rutten.

“There are a lot of things from that game we need to talk about.”

Werder Bremen picked up their first win of the season with three late goals in a 3-0 win at home to Energie Cottbus.

VfL Wolfsburg scored goals in the first and last minutes to seal a 2-2 draw in the German capital at Hertha Berlin and VfB Stuttgart were held to a 0-0 draw at Hoffenheim.

Friday night's Eintracht Frankfurt-Karlsruhe game was postponed due to damage to the pitch after a Madonna concert in Frankfurt and on Sunday Hanover 96 host Borussia Moenchengladbach, while Arminia Bielefeld are at VfL Bochum.

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