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Week Twenty: Up Yours Mickey

Karlsruhe aren't going anywhere are they? Except Europe maybe. I have an increasing affection for this club. Born, no doubt, from a typical English admiration for the "plucky underdog". This week, they were at home to Bayer Leverkusen, who still have Chump's League ambitions and went down to two nil. However, thanks to Freis and Kennedy, they stormed back. 2-2 which keeps Karlsruhe in the UEFA Cup hunt. Whether they really want to qualify for that competition is another question. I'm sure Nurnberg could have done without it.

Speaking of which, new manager Thomas Von Heesen took charge of his new team following Hans Meyer's dismissal. An away trip to Werder would never be the ideal choice for your first match. Particularly if you go down to ten men. Saenko was given his marching orders for two yellows, Von Heesan may have felt the second was harsh. The game ended 2-0, Rosenberg and Klasnic (again) were the scorers.

Bremen's win drew them level with Bayern. That was until Sunday when Munich traveled to Hannover and Luca Toni took the edge off the news that his house had been burgled by scoring an immaculate hat-trick. His goals sprung the opposition's offside trap with perfect timing. Significantly, Bastian Schweinsteiger laid on the ball for one of them. From what I saw he looked pretty good in that Ribery role.

As well as Leverkusen losing ground at the top, Schalke's good run came to an end at home to Wolfsburg. I implied last week that Felix's cats just needed a to click and maybe they could actually do something interesting. Well, Grafite's double strike takes them 7th, still four points behind Karlsruhe mind but hey, its a marathon not a sprint and all that. The Gelsenkirchen club drop below Bayer largely because of Hamburg who had a good week at the expense of Bochum. The northerners go third behind their local rivals.

Elsewhere, Dortmund eased their relegation woes thanks to a brace from Mladen Petric. Ditto Rostock who scraped a 1-0 win over Frankfurt. Bielefeld, on the other hand are only two points and one place above Nurnberg in the drop zone thanks to defeat at Berlin.

Finally, champions Stuttgart managed to make seriously hard work of Duisberg. Mario Gomez put them 2-0 up but the bottom club fought back to parity only for Hitzlsperger to grab the winner in the last minute. Gutted. Pretty soon it'll be Doomsberg for Duisberg...

That's it. Results and tables here. I've stopped using Soccernet because they've been getting some of the scores wrong.

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