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Bundesliga Daily – Mainz close gap as Dortmund lose at last

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By Stephen Clark

Monday 20 December 2010

Borussia Dortmund ended the first half of the season as they started it with a defeat, but the 15 games in between brought an unprecedented 43 points from 14 wins and a draw and a 10 point lead at the top of the table. Despite dominating the game at Eintracht Frankfurt, Dortmund were unable to get the goal their play deserved. Efforts from Nuri Sahin and Lucas Barrios hit the crossbar but Frankfurt stole the victory three minutes from time with a goal from Greek international Theofanis Gekas. The win moved Eintracht into 7th place and sealed their best start to a Bundesliga season for 17 years.

Surprise packets are FSV Mainz 05 who moved up into 2nd place with a 4-2 win at struggling St Pauli. Two goals in the opening half hour from Andre Schurrle put Mainz in command and despite a double from Matthias Lehmann for the side from Hamburg, further strikes from Adam Szalai and Marco Caliguri saw Mainz home.

Mainz moved ahead of Bayer Leverkusen who drew 2-2 at home to SC Freiburg. Arturo Vidal gave the home side the lead on 16 minutes from the penalty spot in a snowy BayArena. Freiburg hit back with a goal from Jan Rosenthal to go in level at half time. Fifth placed Freiburg took the lead on 65 minutes through Stefan Reisinger but Leverkusen earned a point 10 minutes later through substitute Patrick Helmes.

The bottom three all had bad weekends. Goals from Mario Gomes (31), Thomas Muller (36) and Franck Ribery (43) gave Bayern a 3-0 half time lead away at Stuttgart. The home team grabbed a goal back five minutes into the second half through Martin Harnik, but Mario Gomes completed his hat-trick with two goals in two minutes to put Bayern in total command at 1-5. A second from Harnik, and a goal from Christian Grentner put some gloss on the scoreline but Stuttgart remain deep in relegation trouble five points adrift of St Pauli.

The other two sides in relegation trouble both had bad weekends. Borussia Monchengladbach remain rooted to the foot of the table after their 2-1 home defeat to SV Hamburg. Despite dominating the first half, Monchengladbach fell behind just two minutes into the second half through a strike by Eljero Elia but they equalised immediately as US international Michael Bradley burst to the bye line and crossed for Igor de Camargo to head home. Hamburg stole the game twenty minutes from time when Piotr Trochowski whipped in a free kick from the right and it deceived everyone to fly into the net. The defeat meant Monchengladbach failed to register a home win in the opening half of the campaign.

Cologne remain in the relegation play off place following a 3-0 defeat at Schalke where Raul grabbed a hat-trick.

The weekends other games saw 1.FC Nurnberg beat 96 Hannover 3-1, VfL Wolfsburg and 1899 Hoffenheim draw 2-2 and Werder Bremen lose 1-2 at home to FC Kaiserslautern.

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