BERLIN: Hertha Berlin eased the pressure on coach Huub Stevens with their first victory of the season, triumphing 1-0 over Hansa Rostock at the Ostseestadion yesterday.
The three points lifted Hertha off the bottom of the German top-flight, with Hansa replacing them, and completed the first part of Steven's two-match ultimatum.
At the other end of the table, VfB Stuttgart dislodged Bayer Leverkusen from the Bundesliga summit with a 1-0 victory over VfL Wolfsburg at the Gottlieb-Daimler Stadium.
Dutch manager Stevens, who has been suffering from insomnia due to the pressure, can sleep easier but must plot the downfall of Hansa again in Tuesday's Cup match to avoid the axe.
Brazilian striker Luizao scored the decisive goal on the half hour mark with an outrageous nutmeg through ball from Fredi Bobic sending the Samba star clear to score.
Klaus Toppmoller endured a rollercoaster ride on his return to the Bundesliga after an eight month hiatus with SV Hamburg surrendering a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 with Schalke 04 at the AOL-Arena.
A capacity 55,500 crowd turned up for Toppmoller's first match in charge – following Wednesday's sacking of Kurt Jara – and loved what they saw as Argentine international Bernardo Romeo grabbed a goal in each half to put Hamburg in control.
However, Anibal Matellan's strike gave Schalke hope and Edi Glieder levelled in stoppage time to deny Toppmoller victory.
VfB Stuttgart made it two wins in a week and moved to the top of the Bundesliga with VfL Wolfsburg the latest team to succumb to Felix Magath's side.
Wolfsburg boss Jurgen Rober claimed his former club Stuttgart “were due a defeat” but Ioannis Amanatidis struck with 74 minutes on the clock to seal the spoils in a 1-0 win.
Once again Stuttgart's defensive qualities were highlighted with last season's runners-up making it a remarkable nine clean sheets in ten matches as they remain the only unbeaten team in the Bundesliga.
Bayern Munich kept within striking distance of their title pretenders with the champions running out 4-1 winners over Kaiserslautern at the Olympic Stadium.
Sebastian Deisler opened the floodgates after just 60 seconds with his cross deceiving all to rocket into the net.
The German international added his second later on while in-form Dutchman Roy Makaay also bagged a brace in Bavaria.
Prolific goalscorers Werder Bremen recorded a comfortable 4-2 win away to SC Freiburg as Thomas Schaaf's side moved level with Bayer Leverkusen in second place.
Brazilian Ailton scored twice to make it nine goals in ten games and shoot himself to the top of the Bundesliga scoring charts. – AFP