German Bundesliga Roundup, Sept. 11
Defending champion Bayern Munich failed to deliver on Franz Beckenbauer's 65th birthday by settling for a 0-0 draw at home against injury-weakened Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga on Saturday.
Before kickoff, the capacity crowd of 69,000 serenaded "Happy Birthday" to the former Bayern star, coach and president.
Despite missing both injured central defenders Per Mertesacker and Naldo, plus striker Claudio Pizarro, Werder had its chances of winning the game.
"We looked for our chances and we had them. Both teams had their opportunities," Werder coach Thomas Schaaf said.
Elsewhere, Javier Pinola converted a late penalty to clinch a 1-1 draw for Nuremberg at Hamburger SV, while Bayer Leverkusen rallied from a two-goal deficit to draw 2-2 at 10-man Hannover.
Stuttgart fell to its third straight defeat by losing 2-1 at Freiburg and Wolfsburg is also without a point after going down 2-0 at Borussia Dortmund.
Greek striker Fanis Gekas, who retired from international football this week, made one goal and scored another two in Eintracht Frankfurt's 4-0 win at Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Hoffenheim sent Schalke to its third loss with a 2-0 victory on Friday and now has nine points after three wins in three games.
Bremen nearly went ahead after five minutes when a header by defender Sebastian Proedl bounced off the post, hit the back of Bayern goalkeeper Joerg Butt's shoe and ricocheted off the crossbar.
Butt prevented Bayern from falling behind when he made a good save from Marko Marin. On the other side, Franck Ribery's shot was punched away by Tim Wiese.
Toni Kroos, a second-half substitute for Miroslav Klose, came close after connecting with a cross from Ribery.
Kroos was denied minutes later by Wiese and Marko Arnautovic had a good effort tipped over by Butt.
Butt stretched to make a diving save from Hugo Almeida with few minutes left.
"We created chances but could not convert them," Bayern coach Louis van Gaal said.
Both Bayern and Werder have four points.
In Hamburg, the home side went into the game hoping to extend its perfect record against a team that only just escaped relegation last season.
Nuremberg gave Israeli teenager Alma Coven his Bundesliga debut and kept the game scoreless until the 61st minute, when Hamburg defender Joris Mathijsen found the net after Nuremberg failed to clear a corner from Ze Roberto.
Pinola salvaged a draw for Nuremberg in the 82nd minute from the penalty spot after Hamburg goalkeeper Frank Rost brought down Julian Schieber.
Wolfsburg, the 2009 Bundesliga champion and one of the biggest spending clubs in the offseason, lost for the third straight time under Steve McClaren, the first English coach in the Bundesliga.
Nuri Sahin put Dortmund ahead with a tremendous shot from more than 20 meters (yards) in the 50th minute and Japan international Shinji Kagawa secured the victory from close range in the 67th. Patrick Owomoyela hit Wolfsburg's crossbar four minutes later.
Newly signed Brazilian midfielder Diego remained ineffective for Wolfsburg.
"It's hard to find anything positive after three defeats," Wolfsburg's general manager Dieter Hoeness said. "We play well for one half, then we cave in."
Michael Ballack, only recently recovered from an ankle injury that had kept him out of the World Cup, hobbled off after half an hour in Hannover with a left-knee injury but his Leverkusen side still fought back to earn a draw.
Didier Ya Konan put Hannover ahead after 20 minutes and Mohammed Abdellaoue doubled the lead in the 50th despite having Emanuel Pogatetz sent off in the first half for rough play.
Eren Derdiyok cut Leverkusen's deficit in the 62nd, two minutes after coming off the bench and Patrick Helmes drove home a free kick from 20 meters (yards) in the 89th.
Pavel Pogrebnyak scored in the first half for Stuttgart, which fielded newly acquired former Italy midfielder Mauro Camoranesi. Both teams hit the post before Papiss Demba Cisse equalized with his fourth goal of the season. Julian Schuster notched the winner for Freiburg in the 71st.
Eintracht Frankfurt won its first points thanks to Gekas and goals from Benjamin Koehler and Patrick Ochs.