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September 28, 2009

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Hamburg beats Bayern to stay top in Germany

HAMBURG SV beat Bayern Munich 1-0 with a second-half goal from Mladen Petric to cling on to the German Bundesliga leadership on Saturday.

Petric tapped in from close range in the 72nd minute after being teed up by former Bayern midfielder Ze Roberto.

Undefeated Hamburg leads with 17 points from seven matches. Bayer Leverkusen, which had briefly taken over at the top after winning 1-0 earlier against Cologne, is behind on goal difference.

Schalke 04 moved up to third on 13 points following its 1-0 win over Ruhr Valley rival Borussia Dortmund, with Jefferson Farfan scoring a first-half winner, while Bayern drops to sixth on 11 points.

Bayern began the match with main strikers Miroslav Klose and Mario Gomez on the bench but the Bavarians still might have taken an early lead when Franck Ribery fed Arjen Robben on the left to put a low drive just wide.

The entry of Hamburg striker Marcus Berg for defender Guy Demel in the second half immediately lifted the pace with the hosts threatening several times before former Hamburg striker Ivica Olic's point-blank shot was saved.

Ze Roberto, the 35-year-old Brazilian who left Munich in the close season after Bayern proved unwilling to give him a new two-year deal, finally managed to split open the visiting defense when he set up Petric in the box for an easy tap-in. Bayern substitute Klose did put the ball in the net six minutes from time but his effort was ruled out for an offside.

"Before the match we were top of the table and everyone spoke about a crisis," said Hamburg coach Bruno Labbadia in reference to its mid-week German Cup exit to third division Osnabrueck.

"Well today this was a super response and even more so against a team as strong as Bayern," he added.

A late goal from Simon Rolfes earned Leverkusen victory over Cologne.

Champion VfL Wolfsburg defeated Hanover 96 4-2 to move up to fifth, on 12 points. Werder Bremen, which also has 12 in fourth place, beat promoted Mainz 3-0 with Claudio Pizarro scoring two.


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