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Hamburg stun Wolfsburg, Leverkusen lead league

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 23 Aug 2009

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Defending champions VfL Wolfsburg slumped to a shock 4-2 defeat at home to Hamburg on Sunday to leave Leverkusen top of the Bundesliga, while German giants Bayern Munich were humbled by Mainz.

Hamburg raced into an early 2-0 lead after Wolfsburg goalkeeper Diego Benaglio conceded an own goal three minutes into the game before Dutch midfielder Eljero Elia netted the second after just seven minutes.

The champions fought back in style and equalised with playmaker Zvjezdan Misimovic pulling a goal back on 52 minutes before setting up Nigerian striker Obafemi Martins’ header in the 56th minute.

But Hamburg were not to be denied and Croatia striker Mladen Petric put his side back in the lead on 75 minutes before Dutch midfielder Romeo Castelen scored the fourth right on the stroke of full-time.

The defeat – Wolfsburg’s first in the league since May – leaves the Wolves fourth while Hamburg climb to second behind Leverkusen who stay top on goal difference having hammered Freiburg 5-0 on Saturday.

Werder Bremen striker Claudio Pizarro marked his return to the Bundesliga since rejoining the north German club from Chelsea with two goals on Sunday in the 3-0 win over Borussia Moenchengladbach. The win leaves Bremen seventh in the league.

Hertha Berlin ended a week to forget when they slumped to a 1-0 defeat at VfL Bochum.

Having been the surprise package of the Bundesliga last season when they led the table going into spring, Hertha suffered a Europa League setback when they lost 2-1 to Danish club Brondy on Thursday in their first-leg qualifiction tie.

And a free-kick by Bochum’s Anthar Yahia in the 47th minute gave the home side a much needed win which leaves them on four points as Berlin lost their third game in a week.

The defeat leaves Hertha with three points after three games following their win against Hanover on the opening day of the season while they were beaten by Borussia Moenchengladbach last weekend.

“We didn’t get into the game and Bochum had us under control,” admitted Berlin captain Arne Friedrich.

On Saturday, Bayern Munich were humbled 2-1 by promoted minnows Mainz as goals from Andreas Ivanschitz and Aristide Bance put the home side 2-0 up at half-time before Mainz’s Nikolce Noveski scored an own goal.

Bayern’s new coach Louis van Gaal is still waiting for his first league win since taking charge in July as his side were outplayed by Mainz.

Van Gaal left unfit midfielder Franck Ribery out of his squad, but the Frenchman is expected to be given game time for next Saturday’s clash with champions Wolfsburg with Bayern badly needing their playmaker back.

Bayern could not force the equaliser and Mainz picked up their first victory of the season to move into fourth place.

Bayer Leverkusen went top of the table after three games when they hammered Freiburg 5-0 as Swiss striker Eren Derdiyok and midfielder Tranquillo Barnetta both scored two goals.

Hanover’s Czech Republic striker Jiri Stajner scored twice and missed a penalty in his side’s 2-0 win over Nuremberg while Cologne were held 0-0 by Frankfurt as Stuttgart drew 1-1 at Dortmund.

On Friday, Felix Magath’s Schalke 04 lost their 100-percent record when they were held to a 0-0 draw by Hoffenheim to go third in the table.

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