Europe Round-Up: Four-goal rally fires up Stuttgart for Rangers

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The Independent Online

The defending Bundesliga champions, VfB Stuttgart, prepared for tomorrow's Champions League encounter with Rangers by following last week's 3-1 win against Bayern Munich with a come-from-behind victory at Frankfurt on Saturday, scoring three second-half goals to win 4-1.

Benjamin Köhler put Frankfurt ahead four minutes before half-time only for the midfielder, Roberto Hilbert, to equalise on 45 minutes. The Romania striker, Ciprian Marica, the former Aston Villa midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger and Cacau brought home the win for Stuttgart.

Felix Magath, once a manager of Bayern Munich, suffered a miserable return to the Allianz Arena as his Wolfsburg side went down 2-1 to the leaders.

Magath, sacked by Bayern in January despite leading the club to successive league and cup doubles, saw Miroslav Klose and Franck Ribéry put the home team in control before Ashkan Dejagah pulled one back 18 minutes from time.

Bayern remain one point clear of Werder Bremen, who won 2-0 at rock-bottom Energie Cottbus thanks to a Diego penalty and a John Mosquera goal.

Bayer Leverkusen remain in fifth after crushing Duisburg 4-1, while the Schalke striker, Kevin Kuranyi, scored twice in a 3-2 win over Hannover.

In the Ukrainian league, Shakhtar Donetsk, the reigning champions and current league leaders, warmed up for their visit to Celtic with a disappointing 1-1 draw at home to bottom-placed Naftovyk.

Manchester United's Champions league opponents, Sporting Lisbon, also had a disappointing weekend, the substitute Milan Purovic's 88th minute equaliser giving them a 1-1 draw at lowly Leixoes.

In the Netherlands, Ajax returned to the top of the Eredivisie after thrashing Vitesse Arnhem 4-1.

The result helped the Amsterdammers leapfrog PSV Eindhoven, while FC Groningen's 3-2 win against Feyenoord prevented the Rotterdam club from going level on points at the top.

Goals from Luis Suarez and Gabri and a penalty from the former Newcastle forward, Albert Luque, gave Ajax a commanding 3-0 lead. Mads Junker pulled one back for the Arnhem club before Klaas Jan Huntelaar completed the scoring for the hosts.

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