BERLIN - Bayern Munich's revival faltered after a costly 2-2 draw at Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday while top two Bayer Leverkusen and Hoffenheim clinched narrow wins. Bayern were on course for a sixth successive Bundesliga victory when they took a 2-0 lead with a Luca Toni tap-in and a Franck Ribery penalty, only for Gladbach to score twice in two second-half minutes to secure an unlikely point. Leverkusen, who threw away a three-goal lead against Karlsruhe last weekend, showed more ruthlessness as they held on for a 2-1 win at home to Schalke 04. Hoffenheim also won a tight game when they saw off VfL Wolfsburg 3-2. Leverkusen lead the table with 28 points from 13 games, ahead of Hoffenheim on goal difference. Bayern are third on 25 after their defensive problems were exposed in the second half. Bayern went ahead when Philipp Lahm took the ball forward down the left in the 21st minute, beat the covering defender and pulled the ball back to the near post for Toni. The visitors made it 2-0 when Ribery won a marginal penalty decision midway through the second half and converted it himself. CLUMSY CHALLENGE Gladbach got one back in the 79th minute when Rob Friend was left unmarked to head home and on their next attack Roberto Colautti recovered from a clumsy Martin Demichelis challenge and crossed for Michael Bradley to nod in. Leverkusen had shown similar frailties to Bayern against Karlsruhe but provided the perfect response at home to Schalke. Stefan Kiessling struck with a low volley and Patrick Helmes poached the second four minutes before the break. The home side looked comfortable even after Gonzalo Castro's second booking left them a man short in the 67th minute. Kevin Kuranyi eventually got one back with a header five minutes from time but Schalke could not prevent a second successive defeat. Hoffenheim also dropped points last weekend, when they were surprisingly beaten by Hertha Berlin, and had things far from easy in their scrap with Wolfsburg. The visitors twice fought back from a goal down in the first half before Chinedu Obasi secured victory with a cool finish with 21 minutes to go.
15 November 2008
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