Werder defeat Frankfurt to cap perfect week
BERLIN, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Werder Bremen beat Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 in the Bundesliga on Saturday, capping a perfect week at home and abroad.
Boubacar Sanogo got the opener and Petri Pasanen clattered in a free kick to set up a second successive league win for Werder, who also sealed a place in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Frankfurt were one of three unfancied teams who went into the fourth weekend of the season eyeing top spot, with leaders Bayern Munich not in action until Sunday.
It turned out none of the three had a head for heights. While Frankfurt were beaten at Bremen, VfL Bochum lost 3-2 at Hanover 96 and Arminia Bielefeld were thumped 3-0 at MSV Duisburg.
Bayern will go five points clear if they win at Hamburg SV on Sunday.
The Bavarians have nine points from three games, followed by Bochum, Bielefeld, Frankfurt and Werder all on seven from four.
Werder, hit by injuries to senior players like Torsten Frings and Tim Borowski, started the season with a shaky draw at Bochum and a heavy defeat at home to Bayern.
Last weekend's hard-won success at Nuremberg proved just the tonic before they secured qualification for the Champions League by winning 3-2 at Dinamo Zagreb.
Three days later they had enough left in the tank to hold on against Frankfurt.
'It was important we improved our league position,' coach Thomas Schaaf told Premiere TV.
'We've got back on track over the past couple of weeks, getting better day by day. I think it'll improve further now.'
After a few near misses, Werder were set on their way by a well-taken goal from Sanogo 10 minutes before the break.
The Ivory Coast forward, signed from Hamburg at the end of last season, finished with a precise shot after Diego had headed a Jurica Vranjes chip into his path.
Werder kept pressing and were rewarded with Pasanen's beautifully struck free kick with 11 minutes to go.
Frankfurt pulled one back when Michael Thurk was first to a loose ball five minutes from time and they were denied an equaliser when Werder keeper Tim Wiese managed to brush the ball off the head of Naohiro Takahara with seconds left.