Bayer Leverkusen beat Werder Bremen in Bundesliga

Posted on by SoccerPunter

Ex-Germany captain Michael Ballack led Bayer Leverkusen to their first win of the season on Sunday as Czech midfielder Michal Kadlec’s late goal sealed a 1-0 win at home to Werder Bremen.

Last season’s German league runners-up have had a torrid time of late, throwing away a 3-0 lead at second division Dynamo Dresden two weeks ago in the German Cup to suffer a 4-3 defeat.

They were then beaten 2-0 at Mainz last weekend in the opening weekend of the German Bundesliga season.

To add injury to insult, goalkeeper Fabian Giefer – who was filling in for injured Germany shot-stopper Rene Adler – was so badly concussed at Mainz that he suffered a complete memory blank.

Leverkusen coach Robin Dutt was forced to bring in teenage goalkeeper Bernd Leno from VfB Stuttgart as emergency cover, and the 19-year-old stood up to the task before Kadlec’s 85th-minute winner gave his side victory.

Ballack captained Leverkusen for 83 minutes before he was replaced by regular Bayer captain Simon Rolfes who provided the final pass for Kadlec to score two minutes after coming off the bench.

Earlier, newly-promoted Augsburg drew 1-1 at Kaiserslautern to pick up their second draw of the season.

On Saturday, defending champions Borussia Dortmund crashed to a 1-0 defeat at Hoffenheim while Wolfsburg’s coach Felix Magath demanded the introduction of video replays to correct referee blunders after his side lost to Bayern Munich.

Hoffenheim poached an early lead when Bosnia striker Sejad Salihovic curled in a free-kick after just nine minutes.

Having beaten Hamburg 3-1 last weekend, Dortmund showed none of the self-assurance which secured that victory despite Jurgen Klopp re-shuffling his attacking midfield with three second-half changes.

Having been shocked at home to Borussia Moenchengladbach last weekend, Bayern picked up their first win as Brazil midfielder Luiz Gustavo scored in the 91st minute at 2009 champions VfL Wolfsburg.

French play-maker Franck Ribery provided the final pass and Gustavo drilled his shot into the top left-hand corner to break Wolves’ hearts.

Wolfsburg had the ball in the Munich net in the first half, thanks to a header from former Germany striker Patrick Helmes, but the effort was ruled offside, leading Magath to call for video referees.

“If four referees are not able to assess the situation properly, then it’s time for television referees,” fumed Magath after replays showed Helmes was not offside.

Schalke 04 bounced back from last Saturday’s defeat at VfB Stuttgart with an impressive 5-1 win at home to Cologne as Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scored a hat-trick.

Hanover and Mainz both picked up their second wins of the season.

Hanover – who host Sevilla in a Europa League play-off on Thursday – picked up a 2-1 win at Nuremberg, while Mainz enjoyed a 2-1 win at Freiburg to go top of the table on goal difference.

Hertha Berlin picked up a point in a 2-2 draw at Hamburg

VfB Stuttgart and ten-man Borussia Moenchengladbach shared a point on Saturday evening.

‘Gladbach had defender Roel Brouwers sent off for a second yellow card while Belgium defender Filip Daems netted a second-half penalty for the hosts before Stuttgart’s Cacau equalised.

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