Stuttgart open new Bundesliga season with away win

AFP - [email protected] • 18 Aug, 2008 Updated Mon 18 Aug 2008 07:56 CEST
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Stuttgart, bidding to dislodge last season's Bundesliga winners Bayern Munich, got their campaign off to a solid start on Sunday by winning 3-1 away at promoted Borussia Mönchengladbach.

With Bayern held to a 2-2 home draw the previous day by old rivals Hamburg the stage was set for Armin Veh's side to take advantage and his side impressed in securing full points with goals from Thomas Hitzlsperger, Ciprian Marica and Mario Gomez, all before half-time.

A Rob Friend consolation on the hour mark was of little cheer to Borussia fans, their club having struggled in recent years to revisit the halcyon days of the 1970s. Veh was delighted by the start to the campaign.

"We saw really good football out there today, not least as Gladbach also played in an attacking vein (although) at 3-0 it was essentially all over," Veh concluded.

In the other Sunday encounter, Eintracht Frankfurt slid to a 2-0 home loss to Hertha Berlin, who bagged the points with Brazilian Raffael and Patrick Ebert 61 on target either side of the break.

On Saturday, Champions League contenders Schalke 04 got their Bundesliga title bid off to the perfect start with a 3-0 win over Hannover. Schalke were 2-0 up after just seven minutes with goals from Brazilian Marcelon Bordon and Germany international Kevin Kuranyi who added a third after the hour mark.

Elsewhere Werder Bremen, bereft of their playmaker Diego who is on Olympics duty for Brazil, emerged from their visit to Arminia Bielefeld with a 2-2 draw. VfL Wolfsburg, who have splashed out €25 million in the transfer market, beat newly-promoted FC Cologne 2-1.

Borsussia Dortmund came away rom their visit to Bayer Leverkusen with a 3-2 victory, the goals coming from Nelson Valdez, Florian Kringe and Neven Subotic. Bundesliga newboys TSG Hoffenheim, enjoyed their first game in the topflight, sweeping aside eastern German side Energie Cottbus 3-1.

On Friday, Jürgen Klinsmann's reign as Bayern Munich coach got off to a stuttering start with the injury-hit German champions seeing Hamburg match them kick for kick.

"We've got a lot of work in front of us," said Klinsmann who was missing his injured strike duo Franck ribery and Luca Toni.

"Some players only started training very late (after Euro 2008)," added the 44-year-old former Germany manager.

Two goals inside five minutes had given Bayern the edge in the opening period, Bastian Schweinsteiger netting in the 12th minute with a wonderful effort and Lukas Podolski slotting home a penalty four minutes later.

But gritty Hamburg bounced back on 25 minutes, after some sloppy defending by Brazilian defender Lucio allowed Paolo Guerrero to steal in front and comfortably head one back.



AFP 2008/08/18 07:56

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