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Bayern buoyant while Hoffenheim fly high in Bundesliga

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 23 Nov 2008

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Bayern Munich eased to their sixth win in their last eight league games with an impressive 4-1 victory over Energie Cottbus on Saturday with coach Jurgen Klinsmann aiming for top spot by Christmas.

Goals by Munich stars Franck Ribery, Luca Toni, Miroslav Klose and Martin Demichelis put Bayern third in the table with games against title rivals Bayer Leverkusen and Hoffenheim coming in the next fortnight.

“We're very pleased with the three points,” said Klinsmann.

“In terms of the result, it would have been nice to see a couple more goals, because we certainly had the chances.

“We're slowly getting to where we want to be, because our goal is to be top at Christmas.”

With Bayern facing Steaua Bucharest in Munich on Tuesday in the Champions League, Klinsmann says his side are finding their rhythm after a poor start which saw them 11th in the league in September and the upswing is partly down to Ribery.

The Frenchman converted a first-half penalty at Munich's Allianz Arena on Saturday and Munich's midfield marshall has now scored a goal in each of their last six league games.

“The team is picking up more and more rhythm, which is obviously partly due to an exceptional player like Franck Ribery.

“He keeps coming up with moments of inspiration.”

With Bayer Levekusen slipping to a 2-1 defeat against Arminia Bielefeld on Saturday, Hoffenheim now have a clear gap and continue their fairytale debut season in the Bundesliga to regain top spot with a 3-1 win over Cologne.

Bosnia striker Vedad Ibisevic scored twice to confirm his presence as the league's top-scorer and coach Ralf Rangnick said he always believed his side would pick up their 10th win of the season – even when reduced to ten men.

“I believe that we have shown we are worthy of leading the league,” said Rangnick.

“The boys have shown the way they have developed themselves in the last five months.

“This is just another step up.”

Hoffenheim are now three points clear of second-placed Bayer Leverkusen after their win in Cologne.

After Ibisevic netted twice, to leave him 16 goals in 14 games, his side was reduced to ten men when Brazilian defender Luiz Gustavo Dias was sent off after he was shown a second yellow card for a heavy challenge.

And Hertha Berlin kept up their pressure on the league leaders with an impressive 3-2 win at snowy Bochum.

Schalke 04 moved up to sixth in the league thanks to their 3-1 win over Borussia Moenchengladbach.

There was a rough afternoon for ex-Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann as he leaked four goals in Wolfsburg's 4-1 win over Stuttgart and VfB sacked coach Armin Veh in the wake of the defeat.

Eintracht Frankfurt did their flagging league position the power of good with a rampant 4-0 win over Hanover.

On Friday, Borussia Dortmund went fifth in the table after their 1-0 win over Karlsruhe while on Sunday, Hamburg host Werder Bremen.

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