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Hertha stuns Bayern to go top in Germany

HERTHA Berlin returned to the top of the German Bundesliga for the first time in more than two years after Andriy Voronin struck twice to give it a 2-1 home win over Bayern Munich on Saturday.

With five teams separated by only four points, the title race is wide open after previous leader Hoffenheim was thrashed 1-4 at home by Bayer Leverkusen on Friday.

Bayern is third on 38 points with Hoffenheim second on 39, a point behind Hertha. Hamburg, which is level on 36 points with fourth-placed Leverkusen, could move ahead of Bayern with a home win over lowly Arminia Bielefeld.

Hertha, missing injured striker Marko Pantelic, took the lead through Ukraine forward Voronin near the end of the first half before Miroslav Klose leveled just past the hour.

On-loan Liverpool striker Voronin bagged the winner - his third goal in two matches - when he took a pass from Raffael and slotted past Bayern goalkeeper Michael Rensing 13 minutes from time.

Bayern's former Germany coach Juergen Klinsmann, returning to the Olympic Stadium for the first time since the 2006 World Cup, had warned that his team was ready to top the table.

Instead, it was Hertha coach Lucien Favre enjoying the moment and telling reporters: "I am very satisfied. A win against Bayern - I think that will do for today. We played as a team and the 2-1 win is deserved."

VfB Stuttgart squandered a two-goal lead but scored a late equalizer through Thomas Hitzlsperger to rescue a 3-3 draw against Hanover.

Stuttgart, in seventh place, has yet to lose under coach Markus Babbel, who took over in November.

Schalke lost 1-2 at VfL Bochum, piling further misery on its troubled season as it stays in eighth spot, while VfL Wolfsburg rose to sixth after a 2-0 win at Eintracht Frankfurt.

In France, Paris St. Germain moved within a point of Ligue 1 leader Olympique Lyon after a 2-1 home win over struggling Saint-Etienne on Saturday.

PSG has 45 points from 24 matches but seven-time champion Lyon can restore a four-point cushion by beating bottom club Le Havre.

Paul Le Guen's PSG went ahead after 26 minutes when defender Mamadou Sakho headed home in a packed goalmouth but St. Etienne hit back just seven minutes later through striker Dimitri Payet.

PSG midfielder Jeremy Clement headed home Ludovic Giuly's cross eight minutes from the interval.

Girondins Bordeaux slipped one place to third after being held to a 1-1 home draw by Grenoble leaving it three points off top spot on 43.


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