Bundesliga: Stuttgart move back up to third

November 25, 2006

BERLIN, Nov 26 (Reuters) - VfB Stuttgart beat Borussia Moenchengladbach 1-0 on Sunday to move back up to third in the Bundesliga, two points behind leaders Schalke 04.

Cacau struck from close range in the sixth minute and Stuttgart looked comfortable for the remainder of an insipid match at the Gottlieb-Daimler-Stadion.

It was enough to get Stuttgart back on track following their 2-1 defeat at home to Bayern Munich last time out.

Stuttgart trail Werder on goal difference.

Hosts Stuttgart went ahead when Cacau popped up to score after a Roberto Hilbert cross had come back off the bar.

The visitors managed their first shot in the 23rd minute and there were further efforts from Kahe and Eugen Polanski but it was largely uninspiring stuff from Gladbach, who after a good start to the season are now down in 15th place with 13 points.

Gladbach have taken one point from their last seven games.Werder Bremen moved back within two points of Bundesliga leaders Schalke 04 with a 3-0 win at home to Arminia Bielefeld on Saturday, while Bayern Munich stayed in touch by beating crisis club Hamburg SV 2-1.

EmpicsRafael Van Der Vaart celebrates giving Hamburg the lead from the spot.

Miroslav Klose struck twice in the first half to set Werder on their way. The Germany striker then set up Aaron Hunt to score the third and cap an outstanding week for the Bremen side, who beat Chelsea 1-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Bayern went a goal down to Hamburg when Rafael van der Vaart scored from the penalty spot in the 18th minute.

The champions looked short of ideas until substitute Sebastian Deisler cut in from the right and set up Roy Makaay for an equaliser in the 57th minute. Deisler created the winner for Claudio Pizarro 12 minutes from time.

Hamburg's latest defeat leaves them in deep relegation trouble, one place off the bottom with 11 points. Coach Thomas Doll's chances of surviving beyond the winter break look slimmer than ever.

Hamburg beat Bayern home and away last season on their way to third place. They were expected to be up there challenging for the title again this season but injury problems have contributed to a nightmare start.

The visit of Bayern offered the chance to prove they could still compete with the best in Germany and for the first half at least a revitalising win looked on the cards.

Boubacar Sanogo tempted Martin Demichelis into a stupid challenge on the left of the area to set up the penalty, which Dutchman Van der Vaart converted via the right-hand post.

Hamburg kept Bayern safely at arm's length for the remainder of the first half but the came turned with the introduction of Deisler, making his second substitute appearance after eight months out with a knee injury.

The 26-year-old winger showed terrific control to bring the ball in from the right and feed Makaay with a pass that gave the Dutchman an easy finish from five metres.

Hamburg, who suffered their fifth successive Champions League defeat when they lost 3-1 at Arsenal on Tuesday, looked broken by the equaliser.

They managed to cling on in the face of ever more intense pressure until Bastian Schweinsteiger found Deisler in more space on the right and he teed up Pizarro to score from the edge of the area.