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Rediff.com  » Sports » Hamburg draw with Frankfurt to stay top

Hamburg draw with Frankfurt to stay top

September 21, 2009 14:35 IST

Hamburg SV clung on at the top of the Bundesliga on Sunday after being held to a 1-1 draw at Eintracht Frankfurt.

The league leaders are top on goal difference ahead of Bayer Leverkusen, who managed only a 0-0 draw against Werder Bremen, and are also on 14 points.

Hamburg were eager to make amends for their 3-0 Europa League group defeat to Rapid Vienna in mid-week and for the first half hour looked to be the only team on the pitch.

Ze Roberto, in sparkling form for Hamburg again following his move from Bayern in the close season, headed his side into an early lead after Piotr Trochowski floated in a smooth free-kick and striker Mladen Petric picked out the Brazilian with a fine header.

Frankfurt drew level with their first well-executed attack when Nikos Liberopoulos turned and chipped the ball into the box, Alexander Meier headed it on to Marco Russ who volleyed with his first touch from 10 metres.

Both teams shared a chance each in the second half with Meier heading centimetres wide with seconds to play after Hamburg substitute Jonathan Pitroipa had fired wide from eight metres.

"We have to be clear that we dropped two points here today," Hamburg coach Bruno Labbadia told reporters. "But the team rebounded very well (after the Rapid defeat)."

Leverkusen, the second-highest scoring team in the league managed only a handful of first-half chances through Toni Kroos and Fanis Gekas against Bremen, who were badly missing playmaker Mesut Ozil through injury.

Leverkusen striker Stefank Kiessling, who was attempting to become the first player to have scored in all six first league matches, was left on his own as the hosts missed their chance to go top of the table.

Hosts Hertha Berlin slumped to the bottom of the table after yet another disastrous defensive performance that led to an eye-popping 4-0 defeat against promoted Freiburg, with thousands of Hertha fans jeering in the capital's Olympic stadium.

Bayern Munich continued their climb up the standings on Saturday, beating Nuremberg 2-1 to go third on 11 points. They were joined there by fourth-placed Hoffenheim, who beat Borussia Moenchengladbach 4-2. 

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