BERLIN - Schalke 04 provisionally moved top of the Bundesliga on Friday with a 0-0 draw at Hoffenheim. They are a point ahead of champions VfL Wolfsburg, who have six points and welcome Hamburg SV on Sunday. "This was a bad game against a good Hoffenheim team," said Schalke coach Felix Magath. "Hoffenheim put us under pressure and we did little against this. In the second half we allowed them too much space. Schalke looked a shadow of the team that made an explosive start to the season with two comfortable wins. They allowed the hosts to dominate in midfield and were toothless in attack. Hoffenheim striker Vedad Ibisevic, who is slowly finding his form after missing the second half of last season injured, was thwarted from close range by Schalke goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. Hoffenheim, who have yet to win this season, gradually upped the tempo with strikers Ibisevic and Chinedu Obasi finding more space but failing to carve out any clear chances. Hoffenheim coach Ralf Rangnick brought on a third striker in the second half by adding Demba Ba to replicate the trio that took them top at the halfway mark last year but to no avail. "We played good football for long spells," said Rangnick. "But I am not satisfied... we should have won this game."
21 August 2009
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