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Leaders Leverkusen maintain impressive form
( 2003-10-27 09:21) (Agencies)

Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen continued their impressive start to the season with a 1-0 victory over strugglers Borussia Moenchengladbach on Sunday.

Germany midfielder Bernd Schneider struck after 49 minutes to keep the 2002 Champions League finalists a point ahead of second-placed VfB Stuttgart, who enjoyed the view from the top for a day after beating VfL Wolfsburg 1-0 on Saturday.

Leverkusen collapsed last season, narrowly escaping relegation, but they have bounced back straight away in the present campaign to emerge as serious title contenders.

"We played really well until taking the lead," said Leverkusen coach Klaus Augenthaler. "We were disciplined and we controlled the game, but after we scored we lost momentum and made life difficult for ourselves.

"The fact that we're leading (the table) at the moment is not that relevant," added the former Germany defender. "Things can change very fast."

Two goals from Iran striker Vahid Hashemian helped VfL Bochum to a stunning 3-0 victory at home to Ruhr Valley rivals Borussia Dortmund in Sunday's other Bundesliga game.

Nigerian midfielder Sunday Oliseh also scored for surprise package Bochum, who remain sixth in the 18-strong table, a spot below Dortmund.

The 1997 European champions, who have 11 players sidelined with injuries, had Sebastian Kehl sent off in the 32nd minute for kicking Bochum midfielder Thomas Zdebel.

The Germany midfielder could be banned for several games for the second time this season.

"We were a bit lucky at times and the red card did help us, but it was a good performance," said Bochum coach Peter Neururer.

Germany midfielder Sebastian Deisler and Dutch striker Roy Makaay both struck twice to give Bayern Munich a 4-1 home win over Kaiserslautern on Saturday that took the champions up one place into fourth, four points off the pace.

Troubled Hertha Berlin recorded their first victory of the season, also on Saturday, by winning 1-0 at Hansa Rostock courtesy of a first half effort from Brazil striker Luizao.

The capital club's bosses had told Hertha coach Huub Stevens he had to win that game and another in Rostock in the German Cup next Tuesday to keep his job.

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