23.03.2014 20:17 h

Football: Leverkusen slump to eighth defeat in nine games

Zweikampf mit vollem Einsatz
Zweikampf mit vollem Einsatz

Bayer Leverkusen's horror run of results continued on Sunday as they suffered their eighth defeat in nine games after losing 3-2 at home to Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga.

Sami Hyypia-coached Leverkusen last won at the start of February and have since dropped from second to fourth in the Bundesliga, crashing out of both the Champions League and German Cup in the process.

Hyypia's side have failed to recover since Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Paris St German routed them 4-0 at home in mid-February and are in danger of slipping out of the German league's Champions League places.

Mid-table Hoffenheim claimed a historic first win at Leverkusen when striker Anthony Modeste netted the 89th-minute winner.

"I have no explaination for our poor performance in the first-half," said Hyypia.

"I wasn't happy with attitude, our commitment and our concentration."

"We improved after the break, but it wasn't enough."

The guests took the lead at Leverkusen's BayArena when Bosnia striker Sejad Salihovic netted an early penalty, then Kevin Volland put them 2-1 up just 87 seconds after Stefan Kiessling had levelled for Bayer.

Leverkusen captain Simon Rolfes equalised again for Leverkusen just after the break until Modeste converted a cross just before the final whistle.

Earlier Eintracht Frankfurt pulled clear of the relegation battle with a 5-2 romp at ten-man Nuremberg, who remain deep in the Bundesliga's bottom three and had Argentina's Javier Pinola sent off.

Frankfurt moved up to 12th and are six points from the bottom three after claiming only their third win in their last ten games.

As 17 of the league's 18 teams, this was Nuremberg's fourth straight defeat.

On Wednesday they face host fellow relegation-candidates VfB Stuttgart, who are just a point above them.

On Saturday, Bayern's 2-0 win at Mainz 05 left them 23-points clear at the top with midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger and Germany team-mate Mario Goetze scoring late goals.

European champions Bayern are poised to have their Bundesliga title confirmed on Tuesday with a record seven games left if they win at Hertha Berlin.

Bayern fired in 23 shots on goal to Mainz's four as they extended their record unbeaten run to 51 Bundesliga matches to earn their 18th consecutive league win.

Second-placed Dortmund, who made the Champions League quarter-finals in midweek despite a last-16 second leg home defeat to Zenit Saint Petersburg, enjoyed a 3-0 win at Hanover 96.

Dortmund took control when centre-back Mats Hummels fired home just before the break then Poland striker Robert Lewandowski netted a spectacular second-half goal.

There was nothing on when the 26-year-old, who joins Bayern next season, took the ball on the left wing, raced down the flank, cut inside and drilled his shot home despite the attention of five defenders.

There was more good news for Klopp late on as Marco Reus celebrated his comeback from injury by scoring their third in added time having come off the bench.

Schalke 04 bounced back from Tuesday's Champions League exit at Real Madrid with a 3-1 win at home to bottom side Eintracht Braunschweig.

Teenage midfielder Leon Goretzka gave Schalke the lead when he fired home a long-range shot on 17 minutes.

Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar claimed his 10th goal of the season when he fired home a direct free-kick 20 minutes from time to claim his sixth goal in his last three league games.

Huntelaar's replacement Adam Szalai netted the Royal Blues third just before the final whistle after Benjamin Kessel scored Eintracht's consolation.

Augsburg were held to a 1-1 draw at fifth-placed VfL Wolfsburg, who had ex-Chelsea midfielder Kevin de Bruyne sent off for a second yellow card.

At the other end of the table, Stuttgart climbed out of the bottom three with a 1-0 win at home to 10-man Hamburg.

Hamburg took Stuttgart's place in the bottom three, while new coach Huub Stevens enjoyed his first win in only his second game in charge as Stuttgart picked up their first win in ten games.

Hamburg were reduced to ten men when Turkey midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu was shown a second yellow card, and the subsequent, red on 53 minutes.

Stuttgart scored the winner when Romania midfielder Alexandru Maxim netted just six minutes after Guinea winger Ibrahima Traore put in a superb cross with 69 minutes gone.