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Hertha Berlin loses to Stuttgart in Bundesliga

BUNDESLIGA leader Hertha Berlin lost 2-0 to Stuttgart yesterday to allow defending champion Bayern Munich and Wolfsburg to pull within one point with victories.

Cacau scored in the 47th minute and Sami Khedira doubled the lead four minutes later to give Stuttgart the win.

"We didn't do enough for the victory today and I don't know why not," Berlin manager Dieter Hoeness said. "They did a lot more than us and deserved the win."

Bayern, meanwhile, struggled past last-place Karlsruhe 1-0 for its third win in a row, while Wolfsburg routed Arminia Bielefeld 3-0 away to sit tied for second with 48 points.

Jose Ernesto's goal in the 34th minute proved enough for Bayern, which watched Karlsruhe take over the game in the second half and needed a Ze Roberto clearance on the goal line in injury time to secure the victory.

"Of course this game wasn't pretty but these are the kind of games you have to win if you want to win the German title," Bayern manager Uli Hoeness said.

Hamburg can also move to 48 points if it beats Schalke today.

Bayern coach Juergen Klinsmann only had one striker available in Lukas Podolski, as Luca Toni and Miroslav Klose are injured.

"Yeah we kind of struggled up front today," Hoeness said. "We didn't have a lot of options."

However, French playmaker Franck Ribery return to the team and set up the winning goal, sending a cross to Sosa at the far right post for the Argentine to strike home from six yards.

Wolfsburg collected its seventh straight victory, cruising past Bielefeld on goals by Christian Gentner (19th), Grafite (58th) and Ashkan Dejagah (87th).

Wolfsburg coach Felix Magath is still not calling his side a title contender.

"We were very effective up front today," Magath said. "But we were way too open in the back and could have easily given up a couple of goals. And that is not enough to win a title."

Hoffenheim remained in fifth place with 44 points after a 2-2 draw at home against Hannover.

Also yesterday, Borussia Dortmund beat Werder Bremen 1-0, Milivoje Novakovic scored two goals in Cologne's 2-0 victory at Energie Cottbus and Bayer Leverkusen played to a 1-1 draw at home against Eintracht Frankfurt.


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