Diego inspires second win for Werder Bremen
BERLIN, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Brazilian midfielder Diego supplied the inspiration as Werder Bremen won 2-1 at home to Bayer Leverkusen in an enthralling Bundesliga clash on Saturday.
Leverkusen went ahead with a Paul Freier penalty before Diego took over, setting up Miroslav Klose for the equaliser in the 26th minute and then outpacing the defence and crossing to hand Hugo Almeida a simple winner 13 minutes from time.
It was a second victory from two games for Werder, after Diego had struck one goal and set up another two in their 4-2 victory over Hanover 96 on the opening weekend.
Bayern, double winners for the past two seasons, will seek to join them on maximum points from two matches when they play away at Bochum on Sunday.
Nuremberg, who won 1-0 at home to Borussia Moenchengladbach on Friday, are the only other team currently with two wins out of two. They lead the table on goal difference.
Werder and Leverkusen were two of the Bundesliga's best sides over the second half of last season and they had both enjoyed excellent wins on the opening weekend of this campaign.
Werder in particular have been tipped to push Bayern hard but it was the visitors who looked the more dangerous side for much of this game.
Their goal came after Werder's Finnish defender Petri Pasanen had hopelessly mistimed a tackle on Stefan Kiessling on a run into the area.
Kiessling was a handful for the Werder defence throughout the game but he was guilty of several bad misses after bursting through into space.
The equaliser came from what seems set to be a regular source this season, as Diego set up Klose.
The Brazilian, signed from Porto for just six million euros ($7.70 million) in the close season, swung over a free kick to the far post and Klose timed his jump to beat the defence and send a header past Joerg Butt.
It was almost 2-0 three minutes later, as Diego improvised a back-heel pass that set Klose clear on goal, only for the World Cup top scorer to slip his shot slightly wide of the left-hand post.
Leverkusen took to surrounding Diego with defenders to limit his influence and the visitors had plenty of chances to win the game themselves.
Elsewhere, Hertha Berlin thrashed Hannover 4-0 in the first competitive match at the Olympiastadion since the World Cup final.
Substitute Dario Rodriguez's solitary goal earned Schalke a 1-0 win at Alemannia Aachen, the Gelsenkirchen club thus claiming their first win of the season.
Mainz continued their solid start to the season with a 1-1 draw at Borussia Dortmund.
Martin Amedick gave the hosts the lead at the Signal-Iduna Park with just a quarter of an hour left to play.
However, the visitors replied two minutes later with a goal from Edu and the points were shared.
Ten-man Hamburg shared a 2-2 draw at Energie Cottbus, who took the lead through Boubacar Sanogo before goals from Romanian pair Vladimir Munteanu and Sergiu Radu turned the game in the favour of promoted Cottbus.
Hamburg, who had Guy Demel sent off late on, equalised in the 73rd minute through Nigel de Jong.
Eintracht Frankfurt and Wolfsburg shared a 0-0 draw.
Champions Bayern Munich can join Nurnberg and Bremen on six points by beating Bochum tomorrow while Arminia Bielefeld face Stuttgart.
There was nothing they could do, though, when Diego slipped clear on the left of the area, outpaced three defenders and crossed low for Almeida to slide in and clinch all three points late on.