Schalke go top as Hoffenheim crash to first defeat

Other News Materials 30 August 2008 20:51 (UTC +04:00)

Schalke moved to the top of the Bundesliga on goal difference after promoted Hoffenheim crashed to a first defeat of the season on Saturday.

A Heiko Westermann header in the first half gave Schalke a 1-0 win over VfL Bochum as the Blues bounced back from a 4-0 thrashing at Atletico Madrid in the Champions League's last qualifying stage on Wednesday.

Schalke are level on 7 points with SV Hamburg, who came from two goals down for a 4-2 win at Arminia Bielefeld, and Borussia Dortmund, who earned a 1-0 win at Energie Cottbus.

Hoffenheim, who had won their two opening games, suffered a 5-2 defeat at Bayer Leverkusen, while Borussia Moenchengladback earned their first points of the season with a 3-2 victory over Werder Bremen.

Wolfsburg had to be content with a 2-2 draw at home to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Schalke were full value for the win over Bochum who had Christian Fuchs sent off in the last minute following a second booking.

Defender Westermann was played in a midfield role and settled the game when he got on the end of a Rafinha cross to head home in the 36th minute.

Schalke coach Fred Rutten said the team had recovered well from the defeat in Madrid.

"We had one or two scenes when we should have gone in front, but then scored with a very good move from the back. In the second half we should have shut the door on the game."

Leverkusen were soon in charge against Hoffenheim thanks to headers from Karim Haggui and Manuel Friedrich. Stefan Kiessling notched a third before the break after Vedad Ibisevic had headed the visitors back in the game for his fourth of the season.

Hoffenheim fought back when Sejad Salihovic converted a penalty after the interval, but Tranquillo Barnetta blasted a fourth for the home side and Kiessling struck again to wrap up the points.

As in their opening game of the season at Bayern Munich, SV Hamburg battled back from a two-goal deficit, with goals each side of the break from defender Bastian Reinhardt.

But unlike the 2-2 draw in Munich, Hamburg - with new signing Marcell Jansen making his debut - went on to capture victory courtesy of goals from Croatia striker Ivica Olic (64) and David Jarolim (77).

Artur Wichniarek had early notched his fourth of the season with a surging run and shot following an early goal from Zambia striker Christopher Katongo.

Borussia Moenchengladback earned their first points of the season with a 3-2 defeat of disappointing Werder Bremen.

Brazil midfielder Diego was back in the Bremen side following the Olympics but the visitors were chasing the game after Karim Matmour scored in the 12th and Rob Friend headed a second on the half hour.

The home side made it three in the 74th with a solo effort from Alexander Baumjohann which will be a candidate for goal of the season.

The 21-year-old midfielder collected the ball in his own half and left three Werder players trailing before finishing with a shot past Tim Wiese in goal.

Bremen hit back five minutes later when Claudio Pizarro scored from close range for his first goal since rejoining the club from Chelsea, and Diego curled a free-kick into the net in the 89th minute, but the fightback came too late.

Dortmund left Cottbus still looking for a first victory when Neven Subotic hit the only goal just before half-time, to leave the east German club propping up the table.

Wolfsburg came back from an Ioannis Amanatadis goal to lead 2-1 against visiting Frankfurt thanks to a Grafite penalty and a goal from Ashkan Dejagah, but Faton Toski rescued a point for the visitors six minutes from time.

Hertha Berlin could go top of the table with a two-goal win and at least three goals on Sunday at defending champions Bayern Munich, who are still looking for a first league victory.

A 2-0 win for Hertha would put them joint top with Schalke with the same goals scored and conceded.

In Sunday's other game, VfB Stuttgart entertain Hanover. On Friday, promoted Cologne earned a first league win of the season with a 2-0 victory at Karlsruhe, dpa reported.