German Bundesliga Roundup, Dec. 5
Bayer Leverkusen retained the Bundesliga lead and broke the club record for the best start to a season despite being held to a 0-0 draw Saturday at Hannover.
Defending champion Wolfsburg rallied to salvage a 2-2 draw at home against promoted Freiburg, which profited from an unjustified penalty.
Hamburger SV drew 0-0 at home with Hoffenheim, Bochum battled back with 10 men to earn a 1-1 draw in Stuttgart and Borussia Dortmund routed Nuremberg 4-0.
In the late match, Eintracht Frankfurt won its second straight by beating Mainz 2-0. Mainz finished with 10 men after the 68th-minute sending off of Chadli Amri.
Defender Maik Franz scored his fourth goal of the season, sliding in at the far post to knock in a cross from Marco Russ. Alexandar Meier sealed the win in the 90th.
Bayern Munich beat Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-1 on Friday to move into third place with 27 points, but Schalke can pull ahead if it beats bottom-place Hertha Berlin on Sunday.
Leverkusen was lucky to escape with a draw in Hannover, which had the better chances in a dull game.
Hamburg and Hoffenheim both lost ground with their scoreless draw, while Dortmund celebrated its biggest win of the season.
Kevin Grosskreutz scored his first Bundesliga goal in the eighth minute to get Dortmund going and Lucas Barrios, Mohamed Zidan and Mats Hummels also scored in the one-sided match.
Wolfsburg has now failed to win at home against all three promoted teams – it drew with Mainz and lost to Nuremberg before drawing again with Freiburg.
But the defending champion dominated the match and missed several clear chances before clinching the draw on a goal in the 82nd by Fabian Johnson.
Mohamadou Idrissou had put the visiting team ahead after 19 minutes, after Wolfsburg’s Makoto Hasebe and Sascha Riether collided with each other.
Wolfsburg pulled even on an own goal by Felix Bastians, who tried to clear a cross from Hasebe but instead headed into his own net.
Freiburg regained the lead in the 51st, when Daniel Caligiuri, who had assisted on his team’s first goal, fell in Wolfsburg’s penalty area. He was awarded a penalty although television replays clearly showed that Caligiuri had tripped himself and had not been brought down by Marcel Schaefer. Ivica Banovic converted the penalty.
“We had 10, 12 clear chances and they had one and scored twice,” Wolfsburg coach Armin Veh said. “Great performance by the referee.”
Freiburg’s goalkeeper Simon Pouplin stopped a point-blank effort by Edin Dzeko and Grafite also hit the crossbar.
In Stuttgart, about 100 local fans blocked the team’s bus on the way into the stadium to protest against poor performances and had to be removed by police. Then they saw another disappointing game by Markus Babbel’s team.
Serdar Tasci scored for Stuttgart in the 63rd but Bochum’s Christian Fuchs tied the game two minutes from the end with a free kick, although Bochum’s Diego Klimowicz had been sent off in the 81st.
Stuttgart fans booed their team off the field and Babbel could have trouble hanging on to his job although the club’s management had promised to stick with him at least until the winter break.
There were more protests by angry fans outside the stadium after the game.