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By ESPN Staff
Sep 29, 2007

Bundesliga: Toni strike settles top-of-the-table tussle

BERLIN, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Luca Toni tapped in a Miroslav Klose cross just before half-time to give unbeaten Bayern Munich a 1-0 victory in a top-of-the-table clash at Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga on Saturday. France midfielder Franck Ribery headed over to Germany striker Klose, who spun around defender Manuel Friedrich on the left and sent a pinpoint cross to Toni streaking into the middle for the match-winner in the 40th minute. Bayern, who also had a Klose goal that bounced in off the crossbar and then out again disallowed in the 13th minute, held onto first place with 20 points from their eight matches while Leverkusen slipped from second to fourth on 14 points. Bayern lead Schalke 04, the only other unbeaten side, by four points. Schalke moved into second after beating Hertha Berlin 1-0 on Friday while newly promoted Karlsruhe SC jumped to third with a 3-1 win at home over Borussia Dortmund. Champions VfB Stuttgart suffered a humilating 2-1 defeat at lowly Hansa Rostock -- their fourth away loss in a row -- ahead of their Champions League match on Tuesday against Barcelona. KLOSE INJURED In an entertaining match in Leverkusen, Toni got his sixth goal of the season. The Italy striker joined Bayern in the off-season along with Klose and Ribery as part of a 70-million euro ($96 million) spending spree. Klose leads the league with eight while Toni is second with his six. Together the duo that German tabloids dub 'Kloni' have 13 goals -- two more than Leverkusen's total and more than every other team except Schalke (15) and Werder Bremen (18). 'It was a hard-fought victory,' Bayern coach Ottmar Hitzfeld told Premiere televison. 'There were some critical moments. The ball was clearly over the line on the disallowed goal. After a call like that everyone is a bit nervous.' Klose, who limped off with a knee injury in the 50th minute after a collision with Leverkusen's Stefan Kiessling, said it was an important victory for Bayern over the club that had a six-match unbeaten streak going in. 'Leverkusen played well, kept us under pressure and caused us some problems,' said Klose. Bayern goalkeeper Michael Rensing, a late replacement after Oliver Kahn suffered an injury warming up for the match, turned in another outstanding short-notice performance. Rensing had three big saves in the first half, denying Stefan Kiessling, Theofanis Gekas, and Arturo Vidal before Tranquillo Barnetta hit the near post. Bayern had their chances at the other end. Leverkusen goalkeeper Rene Adler had three fine saves as well, stopping Toni twice in the first half and Ribery after the break.