Hertha on top, Hamburg humbled

Hertha Berlin finished the weekend in the lead after Hamburg were beaten 3-1 at home by Wolfsburg, as Brazilian striker Grafite signalled his return from injury with two goals. Hertha's 2-1 win over Borussia Moenchengladbach on 28 February proved to be enough, as Hamburg never looked comfortable against Wolfsburg and Martin Jol's men remain in second place.

Hamburg's bid to regain the top spot suffered a setback in the 12th minute when midfielder Dennis Aogo fouled Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko and Grafite slotted home the penalty. The Brazilian grabbed his second on 24 minutes when Wolfsburg's attack pulled the Hamburg defence to pieces and the Brazilian again fired home past Hamburg goalkeeper Frank Rost. Despite missing the last three games with a knee injury, Grafite has now scored nine goals in his last six league games.

Hamburg pulled a goal back through Peru striker Jose Guerrero on 72 minutes, but Wolfsburg pulled 3-1 ahead when Dzeko scored his sixth goal in the last four league games on 76 minutes. The result leaves Wolfsburg fourth, trailing Hertha by four points, and pushed defending champions Bayern Munich further down the table to fifth after they drew 0-0 at Werder Bremen.

Bayern held by Werder
Despite hammering Sporting Lisbon 5-0 away in Portugal in the UEFA Champions League in midweek, Bayern could not break the Werder defence. Both striker Miroslav Klose and midfielder Franck Ribery went close, but neither could get past Bremen goalkeeper Christian Vander, who was standing in for the injured Tim Wiese.

Stuttgart moved up to seventh after their 2-0 win over strugglers Karlsruhe, after Brazilian midfielder Elson scored in the 50th minute before Sami Khedira added a second with a late strike. The kick-off was delayed by 15 minutes after rival groups of fans fought outside Karlsruhe's Wildparkstadion.

Hertha to the top as Hoffenheim miss their chance
On 28 February, Hertha's Andrey Voronin hit his fourth goal in four games to put Berlin back on top with a 2-1 win over bottom club Borussia Moenchengladbach. The Ukrainian striker, on loan from Liverpool, hit a first-half goal before Hungary midfielder Pal Dardai put Hertha 2-0 up at half-time. United States midfielder Michael Bradley converted a penalty for Moenchengladbach on 69 minutes after Hertha's Germany defender Arne Friedrich brought down international team-mate Marko Marin in the area.

Third-placed Hoffenheim missed out on the chance to claim the top spot when they were held 0-0 at Borussia Dortmund. Both sides were reduced to ten men when Hoffenheim midfielder Tobias Weis retaliated after being brought down by Dortmund's Sebastian Kehl. Weis was shown a straight red, while Kehl was shown his second yellow.

Relegation candidates Bochum escaped the bottom three after a 3-2 win over fellow strugglers Energie Cottbus who drop into the danger zone. Schalke enjoyed a late win over Eintracht Frankfurt which leaves them eighth in the league with Frankfurt now 13th. Bayer Leverkusen were dismayed by a 1-0 defeat at Hannover which leaves them sixth in the table, while Hannover are 12th. On 27 February, mid-table Cologne drew 1-1 with ailing Arminia Bielefeld.