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By ESPN Staff
Nov 18, 2006

Bundesliga: Bayern upset leaders Stuttgart

BERLIN, Nov 18 (Reuters) - Bayern Munich knocked VfB Stuttgart off the top of the Bundesliga with a come-from-behind 2-1 victory in the rain at home on Saturday.

Schalke 04 took over as leaders with a 4-2 victory at Energie Cottbus that gave them 26 points while Bayern stayed fourth on 23 points and Stuttgart, who had won four straight games before Saturday, slipped to third with 24 points.

Werder Bremen, who are second also on 24 points, stumbled ahead of Wednesday's Champions League clash at home to Chelsea, with a disappointing 2-2 draw at lowly Alemannia Aachen.

'We're back with the leaders of the pack,' said Bayern coach Felix Magath, who had feared losing touch with the title contenders before picking up six points in their last two games.

'Stuttgart showed why they deserved to be in first place. There's nothing shabby about beating a strong side like Stuttgart by just one goal. We're satisfied.'

Stuttgart's Mario Gomez took a pass in midfield from Christian Gentner and outsprinted three defenders before beating Oliver Kahn from 18 metres in the eighth minute.

It was the eighth goal of the season for Gomez, who is expected to soon get a call-up from Germany coach Joachim Loew. It put the 21-year-old surprise package at the top of the goalscoring table with Hertha Berlin's Marko Pantelic.

The goal jolted the Bavarians into action. Just as they bounced back last week with two late goals to beat Bayer Leverkusen 3-2, Bayern scored twice in quick succession to the delight of the sell-out Allianz Arena crowd of 69,000.

They got a deserved equaliser in the 27th minute when Roy Makaay outjumped Stuttgart's Ivory Coast defender Arthur Boka, to head a Phillip Lahm cross from the left past Timo Hildebrand.

It was the Dutchman's seventh goal of the season.

Claudio Pizarro put Bayern ahead nine minutes later. Mark van Bommel slotted over a cross from the right that Martin Demicheles wisely let go through his legs at the near post and Pizarro streaked in to tap the ball into an empty goal.

The only highlight of the second half was the return of Bayern's long-injured Germany midfielder Sebastian Deisler, who came on for the last two minutes to a loud ovation. It was his first match since picking up a knee injury eight months ago.

'We started well but Bayern took control after we went ahead and dominated us,' said Stuttgart coach Armin Veh. 'We were too passive and let them push us around. Bayern deserved to win.'

Bundesliga and German Cup champions last season, Bayern have been feeling the pressure after their worst start in 32 years with three defeats in their first 12 matches -- two to teams who were bottom of the table at the time.

Saturday's match marked the fourth time this season Bayern had faced a team leading the Bundesliga table.

They lost 3-1 to Werder Bremen and managed draws against Nuremberg and Schalke before beating Stuttgart, who had climbed to the top after a nine-match unbeaten run.