Schalke beats Bayern in Bundesliga
A bizarre goal from Benedikt Hoewedes helped Schalke earn a morale-boosting 2-0 win over Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga on Saturday that could leave the defending champion even further behind in the title race.
Elsewhere, Fanis Gekas brought his league-high season tally to 13 goals with a late penalty winner for Frankfurt in a 2-1 victory over second-place Mainz.
Mainz remains second behind Dortmund, which is now assured of top spot going into the winter break. The leader has a seven point cushion and a game in hand ahead of Sunday's match at Nuremberg. Dortmund is now 14 points ahead of Bayern and could increase the gap.
Hoewedes, a defender, met a deep probing cross from Peer Kluge with his head. It rebounded off the right post but he reacted quickly to meet the rebound behind goalkeeper Joerg Butt at the other post.
Jose Jurado scored Schalke's first goal in the 58th minute after capitalizing on some great work from Raul Gonzalez. The Spaniard obstinately got past Breno on the edge of the area before his shot was blocked by Anatoliy Tymoshchuk. The ball fell kindly for the onrushing Jurado who crashed it in off the right post. Raul was injured in the clash with Tymoshchuk and was subsequently taken off by coach Felix Magath.
Bayern had the better of the chances in the first half, with Mario Gomez first putting the ball wide from two meters (yards) after a cross from Bastian Schweinsteiger on the left. Manuel Neuer then pulled off a stunning fingertip save from Toni Kroos on the edge of the area after he was played in by Thomas Mueller in the 34th minute, and the Schalke keeper denied Kroos again a few minutes later after a great surge forward by Philipp Lahm. Schweinsteiger hit the post with a fierce shot from the resulting corner.
Mark van Bommel was lucky not to have been sent off late in the first half after catching Lukas Schmitz in the face with his elbow.
A couple of late chances to get back into the game fell to Gomez. He sent the ball high over the bar with a thunderous shot in the 83rd minute, and had a goal incorrectly ruled out for offside five minutes later. Neuer denied him again with a great save from close range in injury time.
Schalke remains 15th, but now has four points more than Stuttgart.
Wolfsburg and Werder Bremen continued their disappointing seasons by playing out a scoreless draw with both teams missing a penalty in the space of three minutes.
Hannover completed a comeback over 10-man Borussia Moenchengladbach with two goals in three minutes from Mike Hanke and Didier Ya Konan.
Stuttgart and 10-man Hoffenheim shared the points in a 1-1 draw. Isaac Vorsah had been sent off late in the first half.
Freiburg beat Hamburger SV 1-0 with a goal after three minutes from Papiss Demba Cisse.
In Frankfurt, Marco Russ had given Frankfurt the lead with a volley from 15 metres before Andre Schuerrle equalized late in the first half.
Gekas secured the victory in the 84th with a perfectly taken penalty.
Mainz remains winless against Eintracht in seven attempts in the Bundesliga. Frankfurt ended a two-game losing run.
"Eintracht was more aggressive today, we struggled to get into the match," Mainz coach Thomas Tuchel said.
Torsten Frings missed the chance to put Werder in front when his penalty was deflected onto the post by Wolfsburg goalkeeper Diego Benaglio in the 74th. Edin Dzeko repaid the favour three minutes later when he ballooned his penalty kick high over the bar to complete a frustrating afternoon for both sides.
A red card for Raul Bobadilla for stamping proved costly for Borussia Moenchengladbach. His side had been leading at halftime through a free kick from Michael Bradley. It was Moenchengladbach's first shot on target but the American fired home from 40 metres.
Hannover fought back with quick-fire goals from Hanke and Ya Konan and the win brings Hannover to third in the table, pending Leverkusen's game at home to Cologne on Sunday. Alarm bells are ringing for Moenchengladbach as it remains rooted to the bottom of the table.
Hoffenheim held out for a draw at Stuttgart despite playing for 55 minutes with 10 players after Vorsah was dismissed. Sejad Salihovic had given the visitors the lead but Stuttgart's Martin Harnik scored a well-deserved equalizer following a precise cross from Cacau after 34 minutes.
Stuttgart was unable to capitalize on the extra player in the second half, however, and remains in relegation quagmire with this draw coming after two successive defeats.