Bundesliga Roundup, Feb. 21
Werder Bremen scored two minutes into stoppage time on Sunday to
earn a 2-2 draw with Bayer Leverkusen to prevent the Bundesliga
leader from moving clear of Bayern Munich.
Per Mertesacker’s header tied the game, leaving Leverkusen
ahead of Bayern on goal difference with both teams on 49 points.
Schalke lost 2-1 at Wolfsburg as Grafite scored twice but
remained third on 45 points.
In the early match Sunday, Cicero also scored two to help
last-place Hertha Berlin win 3-0 at Freiburg. The victory improved
Hertha’s hopes of avoiding relegation and left Freiburg just one
place above the drop zone.
Leverkusen remain undefeated in 23 games, tying Bayern’s
record for the best start to a season from the 1988-89 campaign,
when Bayern’s coach was Jupp Heynckes, now in charge at Leverkusen.
Eren Derdiyok curled in a free kick to put Leverkusen ahead
in the 29th minute but Bremen hit back five minutes later.
Naldo fired in a free kick that Leverkusen’s goalkeeper Rene
Adler dropped and allowed the ball to slip through his legs and
Claudio Pizarro poked it across the line.
Leverkusen regained the lead when Toni Kroos lashed a
right-foot shot from 25 meters (yards) inside the right post.
But Bremen earned a share of the spoils when Mertesacker, the
tall central defender, headed in a cross from Marko Marin.
In Wolfsburg, Kevin Kuranyi scored with a header from a
corner by Ivan Rakitic for his 12th goal of the season and had
another header cleared off the line in the second half.
Schalke goalkeeper Manuel Neuer tipped a shot from Edin Dzeko
onto the crossbar, Grafite got the rebound but his volley also
struck the bar.
But in the 71st, Grafite found the target with a header after
Neuer mistimed his jump and was left punching the air instead of
Six minutes later, Grafite turned the match when he connected
with a low cross from Marcel Schaefer to give Wolfsburg the lead
and drilled the ball into the roof of the net with the outside of
his right foot to end his team’s 10-game winless streak.
Chinese national team winger Hao Jumin made his Bundesliga
debut for Schalke, without making much of an impact playing out of
position as a right back.
Wolfsburg fans gave Schalke coach Felix Magath a friendly
welcome. Magath led Wolfsburg to its first Bundesliga championship
last season, then left to join Schalke.
Berlin’s Adrian Ramos opened the scoring after 28 minutes by
knocking in a loose ball after Freiburg’s goalkeeper Simon Pouplin
had parried a shot.
Cicero doubled the lead in the 35th and then secured only
Hertha’s third victory of the season with a powerful shot from 18
meters (yards) out in the 57th.
Hertha is now only two points behind Nuremberg and Hannover,
with 11 matches to play.
On Saturday, Bayern Munich’s 13-game winning streak ended
with a 1-1 draw at next-to-last Nuremberg.
Stuttgart won 5-1 in Cologne behind four goals from Cacau and
Borussia Dortmund thrashed Hannover 4-1, while Eintracht Frankfurt
earned a 0-0 draw at Hamburger SV and Mainz also drew 0-0 at home