Bayer Leverkusen beat Bayern Munich 4-1

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Bayer Leverkusen went top of the German Bundesliga on Saturday after beating Bayern Munich 4-1.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:09 IST
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Bayer Leverkusen went top of the German Bundesliga on Saturday after thrashing Bayern Munich four-one at the Bayer Stadium in Leverkusen. Two goals apiece by their strikers Dimitar Berbatov and Franca were enough to see off a disappointing Bayern side, for whom Michael Ballack headed a late consolation. Fifth-placed Leverkusen entertained fourth-placed Bayern Munich at their Bayer Arena, with both sides looking to consolidate their promising start to the Bundesliga season. With a win and a draw apiece, both sets of supporters may have been expecting a close encounter. But that was far from how it turned out. The hosts opened the scoring in the 21st minute - Franca's superb through ball setting up Dimitar Berbatov to beat Oliver Kahn from close range. There was no more scoring in the first half - but Leverkusen tied up the match with three goals in seven minutes early in the second. First, on 52 minutes, Berbatov and Franca played a neat one-two on the edge of the area before the Brazilian striker chipped the ball over Kahn and into the net. Five minutes later, Franca sprung the Bayern offside trap and raced on to score with ease. Then, in the 59th minute, Franca returned the favour for Berbatov - nodding the ball down for the Bulgarian to rifle it past a helpless Kahn. Bayern's midfielder Michael Ballack headed a late consolation for the visitors but he and his team-mates knew they had been well and truly beaten on the day. So Leverkusen go top of the table, while Bayern drop to eighth. (AP)

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