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Dzeko´s hat-trick keeps Wolfsburg on top of Bundesliga

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 2 May 2009


Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko hit a second-half hat-trick to seal a 4-0 win at home to Hoffenheim on Saturday which kept the Bundesliga leaders three points clear at the top with four games remaining.

Having suffered a shock 2-0 defeat at Energie Cottbus the weekend before, Wolfsburg returned to winning ways when Dzeko hit his 17th, 18th and 19th league goals of the season at home to former league leaders Hoffenheim.

“We were nervous at the beginning and we allowed Hoffenheim into the game,” admitted Wolfsburg coach Felix Magath.

“In this phase, our goalkeeper Diego Benaglio kept us in the game.

“But the first goal settled our nerves and we became much stronger.

“But we still have to defend our position at the top of the table if we want to bring the championship to Wolfsburg.”

Despite starting the year at the top of the Bundesliga, Hoffenheim have faded badly to drop to ninth in the league and have now gone 12 games without a win in the league.

Dzeko needed just 13 minutes to wrap up his hat-trick and then strike partner Grafite slotted home an 89th minute penalty, after Hoffenheim’s Andreas Beck was sent off, to remain the league’s top-scorer with 23 goals in 21 games.

The rout leaves Wolfsburg three points clear at the top from defending champions Bayern – whom Magath used to coach – who go second as fellow title candidates Hamburg and Hertha Berlin are playing on Sunday.

After Jurgen Klinsmann was sacked as head coach by Bayern last Monday, caretaker coach Jupp Heynckes began his five games in charge, while a successor is found, with a 2-1 win at home to Borussia Moenchengladbach.

“Particularly in the second half, we found it hard work against Borussia,” admitted Heynckes.

“Wolfsburg are still front runners, so our goal must be to qualify directly for the Champions League next season.”

Bayern took the lead after a Luca Toni cross was fired home by midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger on 33 minutes, but ‘Gladbach equalised when Filip Daems converted a 38th minute penalty.

Turkey midfielder Hamit Altintop put the hosts back in front at Munich’s Allianz Arena with what proved to be the winner just before half-time.

Having forced their way into title contention with five consecutive wins, Stuttgart faltered with a 2-2 draw at Arminia Bielefeld which leaves them five points behind Wolfsburg, but the point lifts them to third.

Borussia Dortmund enjoyed a 2-0 win at Eintracht Frankfurt and are just outside the European places for next season on sixth and are eight points behind Wolfsburg.

Schalke 04 are also within touching distance of a European place for next season despite losing 2-1 at home to Bayer Leverkusen.

At the bottom of the table, Karlsruhe picked up a valuable point in their quest to stay up with a 0-0 draw with fellow relegation candidates Energie Cottbus, but are still four points from safety.

Hanover’s 2-0 win at Bochum on Friday night means they are nine points off the relegation zone and have virtually guaranteed their place in the Bundesliga next season and in Sunday’s other game Werder Bremen are at Cologne.


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