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Rediff.com  » Sports » Leverkusen draws with Hamburg, Bayern win

Leverkusen draws with Hamburg, Bayern win

Last updated on: October 18, 2009 16:28 IST

Hamburg SV and Bayer Leverkusen drew 0-0 on Saturday to remain undefeated at the top of the Bundesliga.

Both teams have 21 points from nine games but Leverkusen are top on goal difference.

Schalke 04, who won 2-1 at struggling VfB Stuttgart, stayed on their heels on 19 points while Bayern Munich notched their first victory in three games with a 2-1 triumph at Freiburg that moved them up to fifth on 15 points.

Hamburg set a frantic early pace before Leverkusen gradually found space in midfield, going close to taking the lead when Gonzalo Castro chipped the ball over keeper Frank Rost only to see it go wide.

The home team's injury woes continued when striker Tolgay-Ali Arslan limped off on 37 minutes, with forwards Paolo Guerrero and Mladen Petric already out with long-term problems.

Bruno Labbadia's Hamburg refused to give up though, surging forward again and going close through Eljero Elia and Marcus Berg.

Tunay Torun, 19, who came on for Arslan, missed the best chance for Hamburg when he failed to hit the target 11 minutes from time before Leverkusen's Sami Hyypia and Stefan Kiessling forced Rost into saves.

"We had to set the pace as Leverkusen waited for our mistakes," Labbadia told reporters. "We invested a lot but could not get the breakthrough because it's hard to replace players like Guerrero and Petric."

EFFICIENT SCHALKE

Luca Toni and Thomas MuellerSchalke grabbed the lead midway through the first half when defender Stefano Celozzi failed to clear a cross from Rafinha, allowing Ivan Rakitic to fire home from close range.

Keeper Manuel Neuer did well to protect his team's fragile lead when he saved a Cacau volley from 18 metres on the stroke of halftime.

Neuer though could not stop the Brazilian-born Germany international scoring with a tap-in after Julian Schieber whipped in a low cross on 73 minutes, giving 13th-placed Stuttgart hope of avoiding their fourth defeat in five league matches.

Kevin Kuranyi then stunned the hosts with 14 minutes to go, firing the winner after Rafinha found him unmarked on the right.

OWN GOAL

Bayern needed a scrappy effort from Thomas Mueller and a spectacular own goal from defender Cha Du-ri to edge past promoted Freiburg.

Italy striker Luca Toni was in the starting line-up for the first time this season but the Bavarians, without injured Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben, were lucky to take the lead three minutes before halftime.

Mueller pounced on a loose ball in the box to score after Toni and Miroslav Klose failed to convert from close range.

South Korean Cha Du-ri made it 2-0 when he wrong-footed keeper Simon Pouplin with a back pass on 68 minutes.

Stefan Reisinger pulled a goal back for Freiburg in stoppage time but Bayern's win took them up to fifth with 15 points from nine matches.

Bottom-of-the-table Hertha Berlin continued their dismal run, going down 3-0 at Nuremberg to suffer their eighth defeat in a row.

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