Germany round-up: Stuttgart slip into second

VfB Stuttgart moved second in the table with a late win, while BV Borussia Dortmund were defeated at home.

VfB Stuttgart moved second in the 1. Bundesliga table with a last-gasp win at FC Energie Cottbus while BV Borussia Dortmund slipped to a 2-1 home defeat to SV Werder Bremen.

Huge advantage
Despite the victory, which moved them up to 49 points, two ahead of Dortmund, Stuttgart remained 14 points adrift of leaders FC Bayern München.

Perfect start
Stuttgart got off to the perfect start at Energie, as midfield player Silvio Meissner opened the scoring in the very first minute. However, they were pegged back six minutes later, as the home side equalised through midfield player Robert Vagner.

Injury-time penalty
The score remained 1-1 until 15 minutes from time, when Horst Heldt restored the away side's lead. Once again, Energie came back strongly and seemed to have salvaged a point as Polish striker Andrzej Juskowiak equalised with only six-minutes remaining, but a penalty two minutes into injury time, converted by Romanian striker Ioan Ganea, gave Stuggart the victory.

Late comeback
Leaders Bayern needed two late goals to earn a 2-2 draw at Hannover 96. First-half strikes from Czech Republic striker Jiri Stajner and Brazilian defender Vinicius seemed to have put the home side in command, but French international defender Willy Sagnol pulled a goal back 13 minutes from time to give Bayern hope and Peruvian striker Claudio Pizarro's goal with five minutes left earned Bayern a draw.

Dortmund setback
At the Westfalenstadion, meanwhile, everything seemed to be going well for Dortmund as Marcio Amoroso gave them the lead after 29 minutes. However, Bremen drew level nine minutes into the second half through Greek forward Angelos Charisteas and took all three points four minutes from time as Fabian Ernst scored the winning goal.

Crucial points
Bayer 04 Leverkusen moved out of the relegation zone with an emphatic 4-1 home win against Hertha BSC Berlin. Leverkusen goalkeeper Hans-Jörg Butt opened the scoring from the penalty spot after 14 minutes, and further first-half goals from Bernd Schneider and Oliver Neuville put the home side in control. Neuville added his second and his side's fourth after 69 minutes, before Michael Preetz scored a consolation goal for the away team.

Hamburg into fourth
Hamburger SV took full advantage of Hertha's defeat to move above them into fourth place with a narrow 1-0 home win against DSC Arminia Bielefeld, with Bastian Reinhardt's ninth-minute own goal proving decisive, while FC Schalke 04's hopes of challenging for a European place suffered a setback as they were held 0-0 at 1. FC Nürnberg.

Ramzy recovery
Elsewhere, Hany Ramzy's own goal gave VfL Bochum 1848 an 81st-minute lead, but the Egyptian international defender then scored a last-minute equaliser to earn 1. FC Kaiserslautern a 1-1 draw.

Sunday action
Sunday's games could have a significant bearing on the bottom of the table, with VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach, who slipped into the relegation zone following Leverkusen's victory, travelling to TSV 1860 München while FC Hansa Rostock are at home to VfL Wolsfsburg.