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Ten-man Hamburg down Bremen

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 20 Dec 2009

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Ten-man Hamburg beat Werder Bremen 2-1 in the north Germany derby on Sunday to go fourth in the Bundesliga and put themselves back in the title race behind leaders Bayer Leverkusen.

First-half goals from Dutch defender Joris Mathijsen and Germany defender Marcell Jansen came either side of the dismissal of Hamburg’s Jerome Boateng who was shown a straight red card for bringing down Bremen’s Marko Marin.

“This was a fantastic game for us and was the icing on the cake for the first half of the season,” said Hamburg coach Bruno Labbadia.

But his opposite number Thomas Schaaf was disappointed with both his side’s defeat which leaves them seven points behind the leaders.

“We lost both our heads and our game plan,” he said glumly.

Hamburg took the lead when Jansen’s cross found Mathijsen unmarked at the far post after nine minutes and the Dutchman headed home.

The home side’s hopes looked to have suffered a hammer blow on 32 minutes when Boateng – who was also sent off on his Germany debut in Moscow in October – brought down Marin on the edge of the area.

Referee Florian Meyer brandished the red card, but Hamburg responded immediately when Dutch midfielder Eljero Elia slipped a superbly-timed pass to Jansen.

The Germany defender, who has converted to a midfield role for his club, won the race to the ball against Bremen goalkeeper Tim Wiese and slotted home from well outside the penalty area on 36 minutes.

Hamburg defended well for the whole of the second half and although Bremen’s defender Naldo headed a consolation goal deep into injury time, it was too late and the result leaves Hamburg fourth while Bremen are now sixth.

Jansen, who had fought his way back into the Germany squad, finished the game in considerable pain after landing awkwardly and had to be helped off.

On Saturday, Stuttgart enjoyed a timely confidence booster ahead of their Champions League match against defending holders Barcelona in the last 16 clash in February.

German squad members Cacau and Sami Khedira hit second-half goals to seal the 3-1 win over Hoffenheim to pull their side out of the bottom three.

Brazil-born Cacau put his team ahead just seven minutes after coming off the bench in the second-half before Khedira put the result beyond doubt with time running out.

This was Stuttgart’s first win under coach Christian Gross who took over from Markus Babbel on December 6 and their first success in ten league games since their last victory against Eintracht Frankfurt on September 26.

Earlier, teenager Toni Kroos scored twice to fire Bayer Leverkusen back to the top of the Bundesliga as the home side came from behind to inflict a 3-2 defeat on Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Bayern Munich stay third and were ruthless against bottom-side Hertha Berlin in a 5-2 rout at Munich’s Allianz Arena.

But Berlin are still relegation candidates as they finish the first half of the season with just six points and are six points adrift at the foot of the table.

Dortmund are fifth after they celebrated their 100th anniversary with a 1-0 win at home over Freiburg.

Defending champions Wolfsburg were held to a 2-2 draw by Eintracht Frankfurt to finish eighth in the table, while Bochum pulled away from the relegation zone with a 3-2 win thanks to a late free-kick from defender Christian Fuchs.

On Friday, a first-half goal from Peruvian star Jefferson Farfan had put Schalke top after a 1-0 win over Mainz.

Farfan notched his sixth goal of the campaign after taking a neat pass from German under-21 international Lewis Holtby, but Leverkusen took back the lead less than 24 hours later.

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