Hamburger SV were the fortunate recipients of two goalkeeping mistakes and an own goal courtesy of Hertha Berlin to take a decisive 3-1 victory and maintain their unbeaten record in Germany's Bundesliga.
|Hertha coach Friedhelm Funkel tries to find the right words for goalie Sascha Burchert [GALLO/GETTY]
The result continued a run of bad luck for Hertha, who fired manager Lucien Favre on Monday and swiftly hired former Eintracht Frankfurt coach Friedhelm Funkel on Saturday.
Hertha started well and took the lead after nine minutes following a corner.
Adrian Ramos rose at the near post to flick over into the middle and Arne Friedrich headed in from close range.
Hamburg equalised against the run of play when defender Kaka, trying to head a long ball back to his goalkeeper Timo Ochs, sent it past the stunned 'keeper into his own net.
The turning point came when Ochs was taken off with a hand injury and replaced by 19-year-old Sascha Burchert, who conceded two extraordinary goals within two minutes of each other.
Burchert raced out of the penalty area to make a clearance and headed the ball away, only to see David Jarolim lob it into the empty net in the 38th minute.
Hamburg then scored a carbon copy of the goal, this time Ze Roberto finding the net over the unlucky Burchert as Hertha slumped to their seventh consecutive defeat in the Bundesliga.
Hamburg swapped places with Bayer Leverkusen, who are now top on goal difference after thrashing Nuremberg 4-0 on Saturday. Both clubs have 20 points from eight games, four points ahead of Schalke.
Earlier on Sunday, Werder Bremen won 2-0 at Stuttgart to move into fourth place.
Claudio Pizarro and Aaron Hunt scored early in each half as Thomas Schaaf's team remains unbeaten in 12 games in all competitions.
Marko Marin sent a cross to the far post for Pizarro to head home in the third minute, while Mesut Oezil saw the open space and set up Aaron Hunt with a through ball in the 51st for Bremen's second.
Bremen, who finished a disappointing 10th last season but won the German Cup and played in the final of the Uefa Cup, have 15 points from eight games and are now just one point behind Schalke.
Stuttgart, who had won their last three games at home to Bremen, dropped to 13th with just eight points.