Hamburg give Fink hope as Bayern tighten grip
Struggling Hamburg gave new manager-in-waiting Thorsten Fink a timely boost by claiming a welcome 2-1 away win at Freiburg on Sunday.
Bayern Munich continued their early season charge for the Bundesliga title with a 4-0 rout of Hertha Berlin on Saturday that gave them a five-point lead at the top.
However Hamburg were arguably just as satisfied as the Bavarian giants after only their second win of the campaign boosted their hopes of moving off the bottom of the table.
After a string of defeats Hamburg sacked their coach Michael Oenning last month, prompting the club's sporting director Frank Arnesen to take the helm in the interim.
Former Basel coach Fink, a 43-year-old former Bayern midfielder is expected to bring fresh ideas and ambition to the club once he puts pen to paper Monday on a contract which will expire in 2014.
Korean Heung Min Son opened the scoring for Hamburg in the 12th minute, only for Senegalese striker Papiss Cisse to level for the hosts in the 47th minute.
Hamburg restored their lead in the 74th minute thanks to Croat international Ivo Ilicevic and held on for a welcome three points when Cisse missed from the penalty spot nine minutes from time.
Despite the win Hamburg remain at the bottom of the table due to goals conceded, with league new boys FC Augsburg second from bottom.
At the other end, life couldn't be sweeter for Bayern.
The Bavarians finished a massive 10 points behind champions Borussia Dortmund last season but once again displayed their credentials as one of the form teams in Europe this season.
Goals from Mario Gomez, Franck Ribery and Bastian Schweinsteiger gave Berlin a 3-0 lead within 13 minutes, with Gomez adding a fourth from a spot-kick in the 69th minute to seal a comprehensive win for Jupp Heynckes' seemingly unstoppable side.
"The team has come out of the international break and immediately hit the ground running with total focus on the Bundesliga. We were outstanding, especially in the first half," said Heynckes.
"We let the ball do the work, our passing was brilliant and we scored three early goals. It was a superb start to the match. We showed all our authority in the second half, retained possession and still created a few chances."
The result was a major disappointment for Hertha coach Markus Babbel, a former Bayern star.
"Especially in the first half, it was obvious we approached the whole thing with far too much respect," said Babbel.
"My team failed to show what they would normally do. We were lucky to be only three down at half-time. Bayern deserved their margin of victory. We need to learn our lessons from the match."
Borussia Monchengladbach moved up one place to second after a 2-2 draw at home to Bayer Leverkusen, for whom Andre Schuerrle fired home an 87th minute equaliser, to sit five points off the pace.
Dortmund sit in third place, following a 2-0 away win on Friday that ended Werder Bremen's undefeated spell at home, a further point back.
Stuttgart are also on 16 points, sitting in fourth place following a precious 2-0 home win against Hoffenheim, just ahead of Werder, also on 16.
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