By Mark Bennett
VfB Stuttgart went back to the top of the Bundesliga with a 2-0 win against BV Borussia Dortmund but UEFA Champions League contenders FC Bayern München and Werder Bremen slipped to defeats.
Hinkel opens account
Stuttgart remain undefeated this season and took the lead against Dortmund seven minutes into the second half through Andreas Hinkel's first Bundesliga goal for the club. Cacau sealed all three points 15 minutes later to take Stuttgart two points ahead of deposed leaders VfL Wolfsburg, who will return to first place if they win their away game against Hannover 96 on Sunday.
Asamoah punishes Bayern
Bayern are now fourth and six points behind Stuttgart after slipping to a 1-0 home defeat against FC Schalke 04. Gerald Asamoah punished Bayern's under-par performance with the only goal of the match 13 minutes from the final whistle lifting Schalke into sixth.
Reigning champions Bremen are also having a tough time and slipped to a 2-1 loss against FSV Mainz 05. Angelos Charisteas gave Bremen the lead on 56 minutes, but goals from Niclas Weilandt and Benjamin Auer inside the last seven minutes gave Mainz all three points and lifted the promoted side into third. Werder are now fifth.
Elsewhere, goals from Marek Mintal, Robert Vittek and Markus Schroth gave 1. FC Nürnberg a 3-0 win against SC Freiburg. Gilberto, Thorben Marx and Marcelinho scored for Hertha BSC Berlin as they defeated Bayer 04 Leverkusen 3-1 to take over seventh place.
Rade Prica lifted FC Hansa Rostock from last place with the only goal of the match in their 1-0 victory against VfL Bochum 1848, and Hamburger SV are now bottom after slipping to a 2-0 home defeat by DSC Arminia Bielefeld. The remaining two sides now in the relegation zone, VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach and 1. FC Kaiserslautern, meet in Sunday’s other game.
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