Bayern invites Bochum to take a point

[GERMANY] The story in the German Bundesliga always revolves around Bayern Munich, especially when the team's not winning. The Bavarian side is now winless in three games in league play after it threw away a 3-1 lead at home to unfashionable Bochum, and took only a point from the 3-3 draw.

"From our point of view, the result is unsatisfactory," said Bayern coach Juergen Klinsmann in a masterly display of understatement. "When you lead 3-1 and have chances to make it 4-1, you can't allow something like this to happen. Perhaps the team was too sure of itself. I hope that something like this doesn't happen again." Not exactly a reading of the riot act, but then ranting and raving is not Klinsmann's style.

Bochum is the kind of team always bouncing up and down between divisions one and two, and it's usually hard to remember which one they're in. It always seems to swap divisions with Duisburg, a similar nonentity. The 14th-place team doesn't usually pick up points in Munich, but two late goals from Christoph Dabrowski and Dennis Grote exposed the frailty of both the Bayern backline and its unspectacular goalkeeper, Michael Rensing.

The only thing going in Bayern's favor right now is the inconsistency of the teams above it. Leverkusen is still as high as fourth position, despite losing its third game out of just seven so far by falling at home to a late Hertha Berlin goal from former Leverkusen striker Andrey Voronin. Hamburg moved top after it also scored a late winner, Mladen Petric's final-minute header deciding the 2-1 win at lowly Cottbus.

Werder Bremen was missing in defensive action for the second week running -- it conceded four again, but this time failed to get five back, falling 4-1 at VfB Stuttgart. Stuttgart moved up to third, enjoying the plaudits of coach Armin Veh, who called his team "disciplined, dynamic, tough in the tackle and offensively quick." Meanwhile, Hoffenheim is second after overcoming a defensive (and last-placed) Eintracht Frankfurt side 2-1 at home. Senegalese striker Demba Ba scored his third and fourth goals of the season for Hoffenheim in a victory that Coach Ralf Rangnick called "a little wobbly and also a little lucky."

Schalke and Dortmund both missed the opportunity to put further ground between themselves and Bayern by drawing at home. Schalke tied Wolfsburg 2-2, and even for that point they needed an equalizer from Kevin Kuranyi, his second of the day, in the third minute of stoppage time. They also missed a penalty, conceded by Wolfsburg's Portuguese defender, Ricardo Costa, who was red-carded into the bargain. And there was an eventful Bundesliga debut for Wolfsburg's Brazilian striker, Caiuby da Silva. He came into the game on 64 minutes, scored the go-ahead goal for Wolfsburg two minutes later, and was then subbed out on 74 minutes for tactical reasons after Costa's dismissal.

Dortmund dominated Hannover in a 1-1 game, but allowed the visitors to cancel out an early goal from Nelson Valdez when Hannover's U.S. defender Steve Cherundolo crossed for veteran Finnish striker Mikael Forssell to equalize.

WEEKEND HIGHLIGHT: In only his second game, young Stuttgart midfielder Christian Traesch scored his first Bundesliga goal against Bremen with a sweet volley from around 25 yards out to make it 2-0. He also set up his team's third with a defense-splicing pass to Roberto Hilbert.


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