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Hamburg go third behind new leaders Hertha

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 15 Feb 2009

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Hamburg enjoyed a 2-0 win over Arminia Bielefeld on Sunday to go third in the Bundesliga and knock Bayern Munich down into fourth following their defeat at new leaders Hertha Berlin.

A goal from a free-kick by Germany winger Piotr Trochowski and a strike from Peru forward Jose Guerrero sealed the win for Martin Jol-coached Hamburg who climb up from fourth to third behind second-placed Hoffenheim and Hertha.

With just four points separating the top five, this is the closest the title race has been since 1995.

“Of course, we want to become German champions,” said Hamburg defender Michael Gravgaard.

“There are still plenty of games to go and we have to pick up as many points as possible.”

Bielefeld had the chance of a late consolation goal against Hamburg, but Poland striker Artur Wichniarek missed the penalty.

Ten-man Borussia Dortmund were held to a 1-1 draw by Energie Cottbus and had South Korean Lee Young-Pyo sent off in the last few moments when he kicked an opponent.

On Saturday, Hertha’s Ukrainian striker Andrey Voronin fired his side to the top of the Bundesliga with both goals which sealed the 2-1 win over Bayern.

With Hoffenheim suffering their first defeat at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena when Bayer Leverkusen hammered them 4-1 on Friday, the way had been paved for the winner of the Bayern-Hertha clash at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium to take over.

Hertha’s utter joy at the final whistle, in front of 74,000 fans, was in stark contrast to Bayern’s misery as they missed another chance to go top.

Even without star striker Marko Pantelic, who has a knee injury, Hertha made the brightest of starts and deservedly took the lead after Patrick Ebert fired in a long ball and Bayern defender Christian Lell gave Voronin too much space.

The Ukrainian fired his header past stranded Bayern goalkeeper Michael Rensing to make it 1-0 after 38 minutes.

Germany striker Miroslav Klose equalised with a header on 61 minutes, but the winning goal came when Brazilian midfielder Raffael split the Bayern defence before Voronin slid his shot past Michael Rensing for the winner on 77 minutes.

Germany midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger scored an 88th minute goal to seal a 3-3 draw for Stuttgart at Hanover as his side drop to seventh.

Wolfsburg are up to sixth after their 2-0 win at Eintracht Frankfurt, while Werder Bremen’s dreadful run of results continue as they drew 1-1 with bottom side Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Mid-table Cologne and Karlsruhe ground out a 0-0 draw, while Schalke 04 striker Kevin Kuranyi put last week’s internet prank behind him as he scored for the Royal Blues in their 2-1 defeat at Bochum which leaves them ninth.

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