BERLIN, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Hamburg SV snatched a last-gasp 2-1 win away to Energie Cottbus on Sunday to move three points clear at the top of the Bundesliga and turn the screw on struggling champions Bayern Munich.
A cracking header from Mladen Petric in the 90th minute gave Hamburg all three points from a match that had looked to be slipping away from them.
With seven games played, Hamburg lead with 16 points, followed by 1899 Hoffenheim and VfB Stuttgart on 13. Promoted Hoffenheim won 2-1 at home to Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday, while Stuttgart thumped Werder Bremen 4-1.
Schalke 04 also managed some late drama, Kevin Kuranyi notching his second goal deep in added time to give them a 2-2 draw at home to VfL Wolfsburg.
Schalke are in fifth place on 12 points, ahead of Borussia Dortmund on goal difference after their 1-1 draw at home to Hanover 96.
Bayern Munich, who were held to a 3-3 draw at home by Bochum on Saturday, are down in 11th place with nine points - now seven points off the title pace.
Bayern coach Juergen Klinsmann must have been delighted with the way things were going at Cottbus before the late intervention from Petric.
Hamburg had taken the lead early in the second half when Paolo Guerrero turned his marker on the right of the area and sent in a skidding shot that Gerhard Tremmel could only turn into the path of Ivica Olic, who gratefully tapped in.
Hamburg had enough chances to make the game safe but they were rocked when Branko Jelic popped up unmarked to convert a right-wing cross 15 minutes from time.
Their late winner will provide a huge morale boost going into the international break, while giving Klinsmann plenty to worry about as he looks to find a way out of the Bayern crisis.