Bremen go top as Hanover and Bundesliga remember Enke

November 22nd, 2009 - 4:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Bayern Munich Hamburg, Nov 22 (DPA) German goalkeeper Robert Enke was remembered Saturday as his club Hanover 96 returned to Bundesliga action against Schalke 04 while Werder Bremen continued their winning ways with a 6-0 demolition of SC Freiburg to go top of the table.
It was an emotional occasion at Schalke’s Veltins Arena as football resumed for Hanover, a week after the funeral of club captain Enke, who committed suicide Nov 10.

Just like at all Bundesliga matches this weekend, there were was a minute’s silence in honour of Enke before the game in Gelsenkirchen, while players from both sides carried black armbands and a black number “1″ of goalkeeper Enke was emblazoned on the Hanover jerseys.

Not surprisingly, it was a muted affair on the pitch with Schalke eventually prevailing 2-0 thanks to a Jefferson Farfan header midway through the second half and a late score from Jan Moravek, a result that sees Felix Magath’s side stay third on 25 points.

“It was very difficult today,” admitted new Hanover captain Arnold Bruggink. “We had to get on with it after the minute’s silence, and once the game started we managed somehow. We gave our all.”

Meanwhile with Bayer Leverkusen not facing Bayern Munich until Sunday, Bremen took full advantage, thumping Freiburg to draw level with Bruno Labbadia’s side on 26 points at the top, but ahead on goal difference.

Hugo Almeida headed home a Mesut Ozil cross on 33 minutes to put Bremen in front while a superb Marko Marin free-kick 10 minutes after the restart put Thomas Schaaf’s side in total control.

Almeida registered his second of the game three minutes later while further goals from Ozil, Naldo and substitute Markus Rosenberg ensured Bremen’s unbeaten run has now stretched to 18 games.

“This is a result of our team unity and our intense will to win,” said Almeida. “Obviously we want to be champions but we can’t get carried away just yet.”

Two goals in the opening 11 minutes from Carlos Eduardo and Chinedu Obasi, followed by a second-half effort from Demba Ba and a late Vedad Ibisevic penalty helped Hoffenheim to a 4-0 victory over Cologne.

The win sees Hoffenheim move up to fourth on 23 points ahead on goal difference of SV Hamburg, who entertain VfL Bochum on Sunday. Cologne drop to 15th place, just one point above the relegation zone.

Marcus Babbel’s tenure as VfB Stuttgart coach looks to be hanging by a thread after his side barely salvaged a 1-1 draw at home to bottom club Hertha Berlin.

The visitors went ahead four minutes into the second half courtesy of a strike from substitute Adrian Ramos but Zdravko Kuzmanovic spared Stuttgart’s blushes with an equalizer eight minutes from time.

Kuzmanovic’s joy was shortlived, however, as the Serbian midfielder was sent off three minutes later for a second bookable offence.

Hertha stay bottom despite the draw while Stuttgart languish third from bottom in 16th spot after now going six league matches without a win.

“We are disappointed as we wanted to win,” said Babbel. “We have to turn things around as quickly as possible.”

Nuremberg eased their relegation worries thanks to a 3-2 victory over defending champions VfL Wolfsburg while Borussia Moenchengladbach moved to the safety of mid-table following a 2-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt. Borussia Dortmund drew 0-0 with Mainz 05.

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