KAISERSLAUTERN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 30: Itay Shechter of Kaiserslautern is challenged by Khalid Boulahrouz and Serdar Tasci (R-L) of Stuttgart during the Bundesliga match between between 1. FC Kaiserslautern and VfB Stuttgart at Fritz-Walter Stadium on September 30, 2011 in Kaiserslautern, Germany. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images)

German Bundesliga 2011, Week 8: Bayern Held, Top Of Table Gets Congested

Bayern Munich saw their win streak come to an end as they were held to a draw, while Dortmund, Schalke and Hannover all won to stay near the top

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German Bundesliga 2011, Week 8 In Review: Top Teams All Drop Points As Dortmund Emerge From Slump

Week eight was an odd one in the Bundesliga. Bayern Munich, who were looking for all the world like runaway league leaders after a ten-game winning streak, dropped points at Hoffenheim but found their lead extended thanks to losses by both Werder Bremen and Borussia Monchengladbach. It was Borussia Dortmund who benefited most from the weekend's action, hammering poor Augsburg to move into sixth place, just six points back of Bayern at the top.

TSG Hoffenheim 0-0 Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich's ten-game winning streak came to an end against TSG Hoffenheim, who blunted the league leaders' attack and came rather close to giving them their first reverse since the opening week of the season. Despite having almost 60% of the possession, Bayern were held to just five shots, and the closest they can to scoring was when Bastian Schweinsteiger put a rebounded Daniel van Buyten header into the back of the net from an offside position. If Hoffenheim's finishing had been a little better, they'd have won this match.

SC Freiburg 1-0 Borussia Monchengladbach

Somehow, Freiburg won this match. Against a surprising Borussia Monchengladbach, who started this round of games in third place, Freiburg were dominated. The visitors had more than double their shots, and they weren't too far off doubling up on their hosts' possession, either. That turns out not to have meant anything, because a Johannes Flum caught out Marc-Andre ter Stegen, and 1-0 was enough for Freiburg to win. Weird.

Nurnberg 3 - 3 Mainz

A thriller at the Frankenstadion ended up all square as Nurnberg came from behind to tie things up in the 82nd minute. It was strange that the hosts would have to mount a fight back at all after goals by Markus Feulner and Robert Mak put them 2-0 up within the first 20 minutes, but Mainz then struck with three unanswered goals; Niko Bungert, Maxim Choupo-Moting and Andres Ivanschitz each finding the net in the 30 minutes around halftime. Nurnberg, of course, had the last say, with Mak squaring for Tomas Pekhart to steer in from close range with eight minutes left, denying Mainz what would have been a deserved victory.

Borussia Dortmund 4-0 FC Augsburg

You know who I would not want to be facing right now? Borussia Dortmund, who've been ridiculously unlucky all season despite almost always being the best team on the pitch. The defending champions were coming off a 3-0 hammering in Marseille - a game they ought to have won - and they took their frustrations out on poor Augsburg, with Robert Lewandowski nabbing a hat-trick and Mario Goetze getting on the scoresheet as well. The final score of 4-0 probably doesn't adequately reflect Dortmund's performance. They were excellent, and they finally have something to show for it as they chase their way back towards the business end of the table.

Bayer Leverkusen 3-1 VfL Wolfsburg

Bayer Leverkusen defeated Wolfsburg in a match that will be remembered more for a wonderful individual effort by Swiss striker Eren Derdiyok than anything else. The spectacular effort, coming immediately after Wolfsburg's Mario Mandzukic had cancelled out Gonzalo Castro's opener, turned out to be the winner, although Stefan Kiessling added another with five minutes to go for good measure. But seriously, it's all about that goal. Superb.

Hamburg SV 1-2 Schalke 04

Hamburg were looking for a second league win of the season against Schalke 04 and didn't really look too bad in the process. However, they were undone by a Klaas Jan Huntelaar brace, the striker notching in the 13th minute to give the visitors a 1-0 lead and then an hour later after Mladan Petric had evened things up. Considering how Hamburg have looked at times this season, a fighting loss against Schalke isn't the worst thing in the world, although one has to imagine they'd have also taken a boring draw and a point.

Hannover 96 3-2 Werder Bremen

More dropped points for a top-of-the-table team win here. Hannover, who've been pretty good themselves this season, raced out to a lead and never looked back, scoring through a Mohammed Abdellaoue penalty (conceded by Philipp Bargfrede for a foul on Lars Stindl) in the second minute and then doubling their advantage when Abdellaoue got his second shortly before halftime as Hannover sprung an expert counterattack. There was time enough for the visitors to reply, with Werder Bremen's Marko Arnautovic notching in first half injury time, but Abdellaoue struck again fifteen minutes into the second half to grab his hat-trick. Things went from bad to worse for Bremen as Arnautovic was shown a straight red card for a foul on Sergio Pinto, but they were still able to grab one goal back through Claudio Pizarro. They just couldn't get the second.


Hertha Berlin Vs. FC Köln 2011 German Bundesliga: Berlin Drops The Hammer On Köln

Three first half goals propelled Hertha Berlin over FC Köln on Saturday evening at the Olympiastadion, but the match wasn't even as close as the 3-0 scoreline showed. Hertha were better from the beginning and at no point did it look like Köln could really hang with the home side. By the time the match was 36 minutes old, Pierre-Michel Lasogga had a pair of goals and Raffael had one of his own, essentially putting the match to bed with almost 55 minutes left to play.

Lasogga got Hertha in front after just 14 minutes when he was able to finish from in close. 12 minutes later he doubled the Hertha lead off of a pass from Änis Ben-Hatira. Ben Hatira assisted on the first goal too, but his second assist was better, whipping in a great cross so when Lasogga was able to get on the wrong side of his man, he had the ball perfectly coming across for him to dive and head home. Raffael's goal was a peach too and he took a long ball from across the field and hit it first time on the volley, just inside the far post to finish the scoring.

Hertha took their foot off of the pedal after going ahead 3-0, but they were still better. They gave away possession, but they didn't give away many chances and when they had the ball they still created a few opportunities of their own. In the end, a very deserving three points for the home side.


Kaiserslautern Vs. Stuttgart, 2011 German Bundesliga: Stuttgart Uses Strong Second Half To Defeat Kaiserslautern

In the Bundesliga's Friday evening match, Stuttgart received second half goals from Cacau and Khalid Boulahrouz to pick up a victory on the road in Kaiserslautern and move to fourth in the table.

The home side started the match solid and controlled the pace early through the sensational Christian Tiffert, and it would be Tiffert who had the best chance of the match in the first half. The midfielder picked the ball up in the center of the park and drove toward Stuttgart goalkeeper Sven Ulreich. Tiffert waited too long to take his shot allowing Ulreich to cut down on the angle block the attempt.

The remaining chances of the first half would fall to Kaiserslautern. The majority of them would come from the foot of Tiffert in the form of set pieces, but the ineptitude of his supporting class wouldn't allow a goal.

The frustration built among the home supporters, and it was amplified in the 52nd minute when Cacau finished a low, hard cross by Boulahrouz. The German international had no choice but to make the easy sitter to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.

Stuttgart would push on from there, creating several dangerous chances before they struck again in the 69th minute. Boulahrouz would collect a ball out wide and take a shot. Kaiserslautern defender Leon Jessen would see the ball deflect off of him and past goalkeeper Kevin Trapp into the back of the net.

The result pushes Stuttgart up the table to fourth place before the remainder of the weekend matches. Regardless of Kaiserslautern's form this season, picking up a solid and well-deserved victory on the road is important for this Stuttgart team if they have any plans on pushing for a European position this year.

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