Bayer Leverkusen jumped to the top of the Bundesliga Tuesday in the first installment of a midweek round of games by dominating Werder Bremen, 2-0, in
the night's big encounter.
The league's two top scoring sides looked set for a goalless stalemate for more than an hour in a pacy game that the visitors dominated through
its more concise soccer and the creation of more clear-cut chances. But after 71 minutes Arturo Vidal
pounced on a mistake by Bremen goalkeeper Christian Vander
, who punched an effort from Patrick Helmes
straight to Vidal's feet to convert from close range. Manuel Friedrich
scored a similar effort nine minutes later by knocking in a Simon Rolfes
shot that came back off the post.
"We're making the same mistakes again and again," said Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf
after what was the team's fourth successive
defeat. But, he added, "we have to stay calm. We'll make one or two adjustments to our game, but we still have 11 good players on the field." His Leverkusen counterpart Bruno Labbadia
praised the way his team defended, "hardly allowing [Bremen] any chances. Up front we waited for our chance. So far we've played well this
U.S. midfielder Michael Bradley
lasted for less than an hour of Borussia Moenchengladbach's 3-0 defeat at Wolfsburg before he
was substituted out of the game. By that time his team was 2-0 down on goals by Edinaldo Batista Grafite
. Zvjezdan Misimovic
added a penalty before the end. "It took us a while to get going, but the goal gave us the necessary confidence,"
said Wolfsburg coach Felix Magath
. "I'm especially happy that we finally kept a clean sheet." Borussia's Hans
praised his side's discipline up until the first Wolfsburg goal just before halftime, but conceded that in the second half "Wolfsburg simply had more class."
A 3-0 win for Schalke too, at lowly Karlsruhe, with goals from Marcelo Bordon
, Kevin Kuranyi
and Peruvian Jefferson Farfan
. "When you let a team like Schalke play soccer then you've no chance," lamented Karlsruhe coach Edmund
Schalke's Fred Rutten
was happy that his team was "rewarded for the way we played. Karlsruhe only had one or two chances. I don't
think many teams are going to come here and win 3-0."
At the bottom end of the standings, Arminia Bielefeld and Energie Cottbus shared the points in a 1-1 tie. Dimitar Rangelov
put Cottbus ahead but was then dismissed just before the interval for his second yellow card. Artur
leveled for the hosts.
In Wednesday's most important games, Hoffenheim travels to Bochum, Bayern Munich to Eintracht Frankfurt, and Hamburg entertains