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Hamburg and Leverkusen stay top
Draws are the order of the day for thr front runners in Germany.
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2009 21:42 GMT

Hamburg's midfielder Ze Roberto, right, celebrates his goal with Guy Demel [AFP]
Hamburger SV and Bayer Leverkusen both drew to maintain a three point lead in the Bundesliga.

Hamburg, which is top on goal difference, drew 1-1 at Eintracht Frankfurt as both teams remained undefeated.

Leverkusen was held to a 0-0 draw at home by Werder Bremen.

In the third game Sunday, promoted Freiburg got two goals from Ivica Banovic to win 4-0 at Hertha Berlin.

Hertha, which led the standings at one point last season and nearly qualified for the Champions League, lost its fifth straight and remains bottom.

Bayern Munich beat Nuremberg 2-1 on Saturday to move up to third on 11 points and a better goal difference over Hoffenheim and promoted Mainz, which also has 11 after wins on the road Saturday.

Hamburg's early work

Hamburg struck early after a free kick from Piotr Trochowski. Frankfurt's goalkeeper Oka Nikolov parried his shot from 18 metres, but Mladen Petric headed the ball to Ze Roberto who nodded it in from close range in the ninth minute.

Another header from Joris Mathijsen from a corner went just wide as Hamburg dominated the early action.

Eintracht rallied in the 32nd with a clever move. Nikos Liberopoulos chipped a ball to Alexander Meier, who headed down to Marco Russ, whose volley went through the legs of Hamburg's goalkeeper Frank Rost into the net.

Jonathan Pitroipa shot wide after a mix-up in Frankfurt's defence between Russ and Aleksandar Vasoski as Hamburg stepped up the pressure after the break.

While Hamburg besieged Eintracht's goal, Meier nearly scored the winner in the final minute with a header that went wide.

"Based on the second half, we should have won the match,'' Hamburg's coach Bruno Labbadia said.

Eintracht's coach Michael Skibbe concurred.

"I agree, we were not able to keep up with them,'' Skibbe said.

Tony Kroos wasted a big opportunity for Leverkusen, while on the other side Rene Adler stopped Marko Marin's shot at the Leverkusen goal.

Arturo Vidal missed Leverkusen's best chance in the second half as both teams appeared took few risks late in the game and appeared happy to settle for the point.

In Berlin, Banovic also set up one goal to lead Freiburg past Hertha.

Cedric Makiadi and Mohamadou Idrissou also scored for Freiburg, which was up by three at halftime. Freiburg's quick counterattacks tore Hertha's defense to shreds.

With goalkeeper Jaroslav Drobny injured, 19-year-old Sascha Burchert made his Bundesliga debut for Hertha and was left helpless on all goals.

Saturday's action

On Saturday, defender Daniel van Buyten scored with a late header to give Bayern Munich a 2-1 victory over Nuremberg.

Nuremberg nearly soured the start of Munich's Oktoberfest after Maxim Choupo-Moting had canceled out Ivica Olic's goal for Bayern. But the burly van Buyten rose to head in Arjen Robben's cross and seal Bayern's victory.

In other games, Cologne won its first game of the season by beating Stuttgart 2-0 on the road and Hoffenheim also won away by coming from behind to beat Borussia Moenchengladbach 4-2.

Hannover and Borussia Dortmund drew 1-1 and Mainz also won on the road, rallying to beat Bochum 3-2.

Source:
Agencies
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