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Hamburg beat Bayern to remain top at German Bundesliga
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German soccer powerhouse Hamburg beat record champion Bayern Munich 1-0 on Saturday at home, securing their top place at the Bundesliga table.

A 72nd-minute strike from Mladen Petric earned Hamburg a 1-0 victory over Bayern and kept them on top of the league ahead of Leverkusen on goal difference.

The visitors from Munich got off to the brighter start in front of a 57,000 crowd in the HSH Nordbank Arena.

They carved out the first real chance of the game in the 11th minute, some great interplay between Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, ending with the Dutch international stroking the ball just wide of the far post from an acute angle.

By the midway point of the first half, Bayern were largely controlling the game, but it was Hamburg who almost went in front on the half-hour mark.

Eljero Elia danced his way past Philipp Lahm and squared the ball to Jerome Boateng, who curled in a shot from the edge of the box which goalkeeper Joerg Butt brilliantly turned away for a corner.

The veteran Bayern keeper came to his side's rescue again from the resultant corner, blocking a Joris Mathijsen shot with his feet.

The two sides went in at half time with Bayern having seen more of the ball and Hamburg claiming the better chances.

After the break, both team tightened attack edge. With 70 minutes played, Robben fired a free kick into the six yard box which Petric cleared for a corner.

That came to nothing and two minutes later the Croatian striker was in more familiar territory at the other end of the pitch, turning Ze Roberto's goal-line cut-back from the left into the Bayern net to earn his team the vital breakthrough.

The record champions introduced Miroslav Klose for Schweinsteiger with nine minutes to go as they went all-out for the equaliser. Three minutes later, Klose fired home after being set up at close range by Daniel van Buyten, only for the effort to be ruled offside.

Bayern continued to press, but Hamburg effectively closed up shop in the remaining minutes to ensure a victory. The result, incidentally, leaves them now unbeaten in their last six Bundesliga games against Bayern (three wins and three draws).

In other games on Saturday, Dormund lost its local derby against Schalke 0-1, while the Lower Saxony derby between defending champion Wolfsburg and Hannover 96 was clinched in favor of the "Wolves" with 4-2. The Rhine derby in Koeln was unspectacularly won by Leverkusen 0-1 over Koeln. Stuttgart swept Frankfurt 3-0 in an away game.

Previously on Friday, Bochum beat Bundesliga new boys Nurnberg 1-0.

(Xinhua News Agency September 27, 2009)

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