Berlin stays on top of Bundesliga

Andrei Voronin's hat-trick for Hertha Berlin in a 3-1 victory at Energie Cottbus shot them four points clear in the German League while Bayern Munich cruised up to joint second following a five-goal spree.

Berlin stays on top of Bundesliga
Photo: DPA

Bayern Munich’s 5-1 home thrashing of Hannover propelled them three places up the table to tuck in behind Berlin though they have the same number of points as Hoffenheim, VfL Wolfsburg and Hamburg in a tight pack of clubs at the top.

Ukrainian striker Voronin was in scintillating form in the eastern derby to give him 10 league goals for the season and boost Berlin’s title chances.

Turk Cagtas Atan gave Cottbus an early lead before goals in the 34th, 45th and 88th minutes from Voronin sealed the win in front of a record 20,000-strong crowd.

Relegation-threatened Cottbus suffered their first home defeat in this derby match since October 2002.

Despite the victory, Hertha’s Swiss coach Lucien Favre was refusing to get carried away.

“We have taken three points but we still have a lot of work to do,” he said.

Under-pressure Bayern coach Jürgen Klinsmann had just the shot in the arm he needed as his side tested the strength of Hannover’s goal netting, blasting five into it.

Bayern, playing without star midfielder Franck Ribery, finally got the victory that staved off a continued crisis of form.

Bayern’s start to 2009 so far has been poor. Since coming back from the winter break at the end of January, they had racked up just one win combined with three defeats and a draw before their Hanover victory.

It was Hanover who went ahead, however. Jiri Stajner shot the visitors into the lead though Bayern were soon back on level terms when Belgian defender Daniel van Buyten headed home six minutes later.

By the break, Munich had scored another two goals through Miroslav Klose and Hatim Altintop before Lukas Podolski hit his fourth goal of the season on 73 minutes before Martin Demichelis finished off the scoring with a minute to go.

“The mood here couldn’t be better,” said Klinsmann.

“We knew we needed a result today, and I think we’ve gone out and done just what we had to do. We kept it simple, and we were patient against a very defensive Hannover side.

“I’m really pleased for Lukas (Podolski). He’s scored, he’s won free-kicks, and been involved in plenty of passing moves. He and Miroslav Klose have worked really hard the whole season, and both scored today.”

Hoffenheim, however, yet again failed to show their early-season form in a goalless draw at home to Werder Bremen.

Hamburg meanwhile suffered their second successive defeat, losing 4-1 at Borussia Mönchengladbach who moved off the bottom of the table with the win.


Four injured as WWII bomb explodes near Munich train station

Four people were injured, one of them seriously, when a World War II bomb exploded at a building site near Munich's main train station on Wednesday, emergency services said.

Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich.
Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Privat

Construction workers had been drilling into the ground when the bomb exploded, a spokesman for the fire department said in a statement.

The blast was heard several kilometres away and scattered debris hundreds of metres, according to local media reports.

Images showed a plume of smoke rising directly next to the train tracks.

Bavaria interior minister Joachim Herrmann told Bild that the whole area was being searched.

Deutsche Bahn suspended its services on the affected lines in the afternoon.

Although trains started up again from 3pm, the rail operator said there would still be delays and cancellations to long-distance and local travel in the Munich area until evening. 

According to the fire service, the explosion happened near a bridge that must be passed by all trains travelling to or from the station.

The exact cause of the explosion is unclear, police said. So far, there are no indications of a criminal act.

WWII bombs are common in Germany

Some 75 years after the war, Germany remains littered with unexploded ordnance, often uncovered during construction work.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about WWII bomb disposals in Germany

However, most bombs are defused by experts before they explode.

Last year, seven World War II bombs were found on the future location of Tesla’s first European factory, just outside Berlin.

Sizeable bombs were also defused in Cologne and Dortmund last year.

In 2017, the discovery of a 1.4-tonne bomb in Frankfurt prompted the evacuation of 65,000 people — the largest such operation since the end of the war in Europe in 1945.