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WhoScored: Zabaleta-Sterling a key battle

Tactics And Analysis 5 hours ago
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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Oct 26, 2008

Bundesliga: Hoffenheim humble Hamburg to go top

BERLIN, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Hoffenheim maintained their glorious start to life in the Bundesliga when they reclaimed top spot with a ruthless 3-0 win at home to Hamburg SV on Sunday.

Nigerian striker Chinedu Obasi scored twice and Bosnian Vedad Ibisevic took his tally for the season to 10 as the village team with deep pockets secured probably the best win of their debut season in the top flight.

After nine games, Hoffenheim lead the standings with 19 points, one ahead of Bayer Leverkusen after they won 2-0 at home to Cologne on Friday.

Hamburg slip to third on 17 points, one ahead of VfB Stuttgart after two late goals from Mario Gomez gave them a 2-0 win at home to Bochum on Sunday.

Bayern Munich are in fifth place on 15 points after Juergen Klinsmann's side continued their recovery by coming from two goals down to win 4-2 at home to VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday.

Hoffenheim enjoy the backing of multi-millionaire software pioneer Dietmar Hopp and they have clearly used the money wisely during their steady rise to fame.

Coach Ralf Rangnick, formerly of Schalke 04, has encouraged his team to play in a fearless style and their ability to break at speed was too much for a tired looking Hamburg side.

They made the breakthrough after seven minutes with a simple goal. Brazilian midfielder Carlos Eduardo played a swift ball in from the right to Obasi, who turned his marker just inside the area and beat the keeper at his near post.

The second came a few minutes later via a lightning break down the left. Obasi played the ball to Sejad Salihovic, who in turn fed Demba Ba. Frank Rost managed to block his shot but Ibisevic reacted quicker than anyone to turn in the rebound.

Hoffenheim extended their lead before the first half was up and again it was speed of thought and execution that did for Hamburg.

Ba elected to take a quick free kick from inside his own half while Hamburg were still getting organised. His pass found Salihovic, who set Obasi running clear through the middle to dummy the keeper and make the game safe.

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