BERLIN: Bayer Leverkusen replaced Borussia Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga with a hard-fought 2-1 win over newcomers Eintracht Frankfurt at the Waldstadion yesterday.
Klaus Augenthaler's 100% record at Bayer – the former Nuremberg coach had won all his three matches in charge of Bayer – continued although his team needed an own goal from Albanian Gerl Cipi late on to snatch all three points.
Nico Frommer's first Bundesliga goal on 42 minutes put Frankfurt ahead, with the 25-year-old leaving World Cup winner Lucio trailing in his wake.
However, German international Bernd Schneider marked his return from suspension with a goal on 51 minutes to level for Bayer.
Cipi decided the match sliding a cross from the left into his own net on 84 minutes to hand Bayer victory.
VfB Stuttgart missed the chance to claim top spot in a heated 0-0 draw against Hertha Berlin in front of 35,000 fans at the Gottlieb Daimler Stadium.
The point lifts Hertha off the bottom rung of the Bundesliga ladder, with Frankfurt taking their place, while Stuttgart move into sixth place.
German international Fredi Bobic recovered from a niggling back injury to face former club Stuttgart but his main contribution was to pick up a yellow card on the half hour mark for arguing with the referee, before being substituted.
Locked 0-0 at the interval Felix Magath, who picked up his coach of the year award before the match, introduced Imre Szabics hoping that the Hungarian could repeat his recent brace against Hansa Rostock.
However, a goal was not forthcoming and a spate of bookings eventually resulted in a sending off, with Hertha striker Artur Wichniarek issued his marching orders on 81 minutes for violent conduct.
Stuttgart could not make the numerical advantage count in the final stages and had to settle for a point.
n MUNICH: Bayern Munich striker Giovane Elber has not ruled out a move to Hertha Berlin after the capital club confirmed their interest in the Brazilian forward.
Elber, top-scorer in the Bundesliga last season with 21 goals, is set to leave the Olympic Stadium in the summer but has not ruled out an extended stay in the German top flight.
“It is possible that I could move from Bayern to Hertha,” Elber told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag. – AFP