Hoffenheim back on top

Hoffenheim went back to the top of the Bundesliga with a 3-3 draw at Stuttgart while defending champions Bayern Munich suffered their third loss in four league games in a 2-1 defeat at home to Cologne. Hertha Berlin relinquished the top spot when they were beaten 2-1 at Wolfsburg, as a goal from Brazilian Cicero was cancelled out by second-half strikes from Wolfsburg's Edin Dzeko to put Berlin second. Wolfsburg remain unbeaten at home this season.

Hoffenheim striker Demba Ba scored a hat-trick which was cancelled out by strikes from Cacau and a pair from Germany forward Mario Gomez. Hoffenheim midfielder Sejad Salihovic missed a penalty in injury time to leave his side on 40 points - equal with Hertha, but top by virtue of goal difference.

"The fans got their money's worth today," said Hoffenheim coach Ralf Rangnick. "We could have won it in the end, but we can live with the 3-3." 

The biggest shock of the day came when mid-table Cologne went to Bayern Munich's Allianz Arena and enjoyed a 2-1 win over the hosts. Hamburg, Hertha Berlin and now Cologne have all beaten the defending champions since the season resumed at the beginning of the month.

Bayern's Miroslav Klose looked to have headed his side ahead on 13 minutes, but the goal was ruled offside. From then on it was virtually all Cologne as French midfielder Fabrice Ehret slipped his marker Martin Demichelis and fired his shot past Bayern goalkeeper Michael Rensing on 22 minutes. The Bayern shot-stopper had said the week before that he was "sick to the back teeth of his defence" who "got on his nerves" and they did nothing to improve his opinion when they leaked a second goal.

Quite a bit went wrong today.
Bayern Munich coach Juergen Klinsmann

Germany defender Philipp Lahm allowed Serbia midfielder Nemanja Vucicevic to fire in a cross from close range and teenage midfielder Daniel Brosinski capped his debut with a goal on 34 minutes, despite being surrounded by defenders. Klose immediately responded with a fierce shot which went just wide of the near post, but it remained 2-0 at the break and after a dire second-half, Belgian defender Daniel van Buyten scored a consolation on 84 minutes. Bayern remain fourth in the lead, but could drop to fifth if Bayer Leverkusen beat third-placed Hamburg tomorrow.

Cologne coach Christoph Daum said his team were lucky to get away with a win. "Bayern were certainly the better team, but in soccer it is goals that count and that is where we were luckier today."

Bayern coach Juergen Klinsmann was angry at yet another defeat. "Quite a bit went wrong today," Klinsmann said. "This defeat angers us and we have again missed the chance to go top of the table."

Energie Cottbus surge
Despite holding AC Milan to a 1-1 draw on Wednesday in the UEFA Cup, Werder Bremen were beaten 2-1 at strugglers Energie Cottbus, who won the race to get their pitch clear of snow after an appeal to fans. Strugglers Bochum picked up a 1-0 win at fellow relegation contenders Arminia Bielefeld, while mid-table Eintracht Frankfurt enjoyed a 1-0 win at second-from-bottom Karlsruhe to stop their freefall.

Points for Moenchengladbach
Bottom club Borussia Moenchengladbach closed the gap between the rest of the league to two points when they enjoyed a 3-2 win at home over Hannover with rising stars Marko Marin and Alexander Baumjohann both scoring. Germany veteran Oliver Neuville scored the winner with time running out.

Goals by Schalke striker Kevin Kuranyi and Dortmund's Mohamed Zidan either side of half-time meant the Ruhr valley derby ended in a 1-1 draw on Friday, which left both sides in mid-table.