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Sun 3 Feb 2008 08:05 AM

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Huub's disgust as Hamburg slip

Hamburg boss keen to forget as his side slipped back to fourth in the German league.

Hamburg boss Huub Stevens endured an afternoon he was keen to forget as his side slipped back to fourth in the German league while Bayern Munich coach Ottmar Hitzfeld lamented his league-leading side's Jekyll and Hyde performance.

Hamburg's 1-1 draw at home to Hanover means they are now six points behind leaders Bayern and back to fourth as Bayer Leverkusen claimed third spot with late 3-2 win at Energie Cottbus.

"I want to completely forget the first half very quickly," said Dutch coach Stevens.

"We made the opposition look good and showed no passion."

"After the break, we played much better and managed to pick up a point."

Only Werder Bremen, who play on Sunday, are within touching leaders of the Munich side, but are three points behind.

Bayern had to survive a fightback in Rostock on Friday before the German giants came away with a 2-1 win to open a three-point gap at the top.Bayern cruised into a 2-0 half-time lead courtesy of goals from Franck Ribery and Luca Toni.

But coach Ottmar Hitzfeld's side made a nervous start to the second-half as their defence leaked an early goal by Rostock's Enrico Kern.

"I'm very pleased we've taken the three points, but we showed two sides to our character" said Hitzfeld.

"We played very well in the first half and should have been further ahead, but we lost our way after they pulled one back and our opponents grew in stature."

"It would have been a lot easier for us if we hadn't conceded the early goal after half-time."

"I'm happy with our fighting spirit but not with the football we played."

On Saturday, Bayer Leverkusen had German striker Simon Rolfes to thank after he converted a late penalty to give his side victory and a place amongst the top three with a 3-2 win at struggling Energie Cottbus.

A penalty by Hanover's Hungarian midfielder Szabolcs Huszti just before half-time gave his side the lead in Hamburg before Croatian striker Ivica Olic bagged his eighth league goal of the season as Hanover had Sergio Pinto dismissed late in the game.

There was a goal feast in Duisburg as the league's bottom side drew 3-3 win over mid-table Borussia Dortmund.

After Duisburg stormed into a 2-0 lead, Dortmund fought back with a second-half goal by German international Sebastian Kehl, before Romanian midfielder Mihai Tararache made it 3-1.

With 20 minutes left Diego Fernando Klimowicz headed home for Dortmund to make it 3-2, before his injury time strike made it 3-3.Nuremberg stay in the bottom three after their 2-0 defeat at Karlsruhe, who are up to fifth.

Hertha Berlin were humbled 3-0 at home to Eintracht Frankfurt which leaves both sides in mid-table, while Arminia Bielefeld were beaten 1-0 at home to VfL Wolfsburg.

With Bayern's main title rivals Werder Bremen hosts VfL Bochum, the pressure is on Thomas Schaaf's side to pick up the win which would put them level with Bayern.

And in Sunday's other game, defending champions VfB Stuttgart are at Schalke 04, Germany's only surviving Champions League contenders.

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