Ten-man Bremen go top, Cologne floor Leverkusen
Berlin: Ten-man Werder Bremen went top of the German league on Saturday thanks to a 1-1 draw at Nuremberg despite having Germany goalkeeper Tim Wiese sent off.
With Bayern Munich playing at Schalke on Sunday, Bremen took the opportunity to go top as they picked up a point, despite losing Wiese after just 17 minutes.
The 29-year-old was shown a straight red after an ugly tackle on Nuremberg striker Christian Eigler which forced Bremen to bring on reserve goalkeeper Sebastian Mielitz.
Werder then took the lead when Turkey midfielder Mehmet Ekici scored against his former club just seven minutes later.
Torrential rain threatened to flood the Nuremberg pitch in the first half and delayed the start of the second, but the hosts levelled on 62 minutes with a late header from defender Philipp Wollscheid.
"It certainly wasn`t boring," said coach Thomas Schaaf.
"We weakened our position with the sending off, but inspite of that we managed to score a goal.
"The team struggled afterwards, but they kept their discipline and under these conditions we deserved the point."
The point leaves Bremen top on goal difference, and level on 13 points with Moenchengladbach, to leave Bayern just a point behind before Sunday`s game in Gelsenkirchen.
`Gladbach kept up their impressive start to the season with a 1-0 win at bottom side Hamburg.
Brazil-born Belgium striker Igor de Camargo got the crucial goal with a header on 66 minutes to knock Bayern down to third.
Hamburg remain rooted to the bottom of the table with one point from six games as pressure grows on coach Michael Oenning.
Having lost 2-0 at Chelsea in their opening Champions League game on Tuesday, Leverkusen were dismantled by Cologne as Germany striker Lukas Podolski and Slovakian forward partner Milivoje Novakovic ran riot in a 4-1 victory.
While Novakovic scored the opening goal after being set up by Podolski, the Slovakian then turned provider to set up both of his teammate`s goals as Cologne took a 3-0 lead after 54 minutes.
Leverkusen captain Simon Rolfes pulled a goal back, but things got worse for coach Robin Dutt when he saw Germany winger Andre Schuerrle sent off for a heavy tackle on defender Christian Eichner just before Novakovic and Podolski combined to set up midfielder Mato Jajalo for the fourth goal on 90 minutes.
The defeat leaves Leverkusen sixth in the table and lifts Cologne to 13th.
Hoffenheim earned a 2-1 win at home to Wolfsburg to go fourth, while Bundesliga new boys Hertha Berlin and Augsburg, who both won promotion from the second division last season, played out a 2-2 draw at Berlin`s Olympic Stadium.
Defending champions Borussia Dortmund need a win at Hanover on Sunday to stay in touch with the leaders as they remain mid-table after two defeats in their opening five league games.