Bundesliga Match Day 8 Recap
Bayern Munich, missing a host of international stars, still proved too strong for Hanover running out comfortable 3-0 winners. Mario Gomez was the match winner with a stunning hat trick, one in the eye for his increasingly vocal number of doubters. The German striker dedicated his man-of-the-match performance to his namesake in Chile, the ninth miner to be spectacularly rescued from the Chilean rubble during the week.
After Bayern's worst start to a Bundesliga campaign since 1966, three points will be welcomed more heartily than usual at the Allianz Arena with Bayern cutting the deficit to ten points behind both Dortmund and Mainz at the top.
Borussia Dortmund took over top spot with a last-gasp 2-1 win over struggling Cologne on Friday night. After Dortmund took the lead in the first half, Lukas Podolski blasted in an equaliser for Cologne before Turkish international Nuri Sahin won it late on for Dortmund to make it seven wins out of eight. Revenge would have been sweet for Sahin, who was on the end of some childish Podolski provocation.
Dortmund are now bookies' favourites to win the title alongside Bayern, who still languish in 10th spot.
Surprise side Mainz 05 were hoping to set a new Bundesliga record with their eighth win in succession against Hamburg. Mainz had a host of chances but were denied by some fantastic goalkeeping by veteran Frank Rost. Peruvian striker Paulo Guerrero broke the home team's hearts with a late winner for HSV.
5th placed St Pauli sit just behind their more illustrious city rivals HSV in the table after coming out on top in a five-goal thriller against Nuremberg. Former German international Gerald Asamoah scored the opener for the cult club at the Millerntor.
Wolfsburg threw away a two-goal lead for the second time this season against Bayer Leverkusen - who move up to third. Goals for the Brazilian duo of Diego and Grafite put Steve McLaren's side in the driving seat before Bayer super sub Simon Rolfes turned the tide with a brace, including the winner on 82 minutes.
A bottom of the table clash (who would have predicted that at the start of the Bundesliga campaign) between Schalke 04 and VfB Stuttgart produced four goals in an entertaining affair in Gelsenkirchen. Stuttgart, having recently pressed the managerial panic button by sacking Swiss coach Christian Gross, went into the match under 'caretaker' coach Jens Keller. Schalke coach Felix Magath was happy with his side's battling qualities as his team twice came from behind to snatch a draw with a disputed Klaas Jan Huntelaar penalty. Neither side could be really satisfied with a share of the spoils as both remain in the bottom three of the Bundesliga with Stuttgart still rooted to the bottom.
Werder Bremen battled to a tight 2-1 victory over Freiburg despite their players allegedly having had their pay withheld this month for numerous sub-standard performances. Portuguese striker Hugo Ameida headed the winner to improve the mood on the stormy Weser.
Eintracht Frankfurt won their third game on the spin with a convincing 3-0 away win at Kaiserslautern - two goals by the Greek hitman Gekas settling matters for Frankfurt in the South-West Derby after a Lakic penalty was saved by the visitors' keeper Nikolov.
Hoffenheim came from behind to snatch a 3-2 home victory over struggling Borussia Moenchengladbach. Hoffenheim move up to fourth spot as the visitors lost the plot in the second half and ended the game with nine men after two cheap red cards.