Schalke 04 marching towards German Bundesliga top spot

Posted on by SoccerPunter

Spanish veteran Raul was on target as Schalke 04 kept in touch with the German Bundesliga leaders on Sunday with a 3-1 win at home against Augsburg.

Just days after qualifying for the Europa League knockout stages, Schalke notched up their ninth win of the season to put them back in fourth place with 28 points.

The Gelsenkirchen-based club are now only three points behind leaders Bayern Munich and two off second-placed Monchengladbach and Borussia Dortmund.

Dutch striker Klaas Jan Huntelaar opened after 16 minutes with a backheeled kick to join Mario Gomez as the top scorer this season with 13 goals.

But a lapse by the home defence allowed Augsburg striker Sasha Moelders to finally find the back of the net after more than 1,200 minutes without a goal.

Christian Fuchs got Schalke back in front after 66 minutes and Raul, the man with 74 European goals, headed in six minutes from time to pour more woe on tailenders Augsburg.

Earlier Hamburg continued their move up the table by beating Nuremberg 2-0 to remain unbeaten in seven matches since the arrival of new coach Thorsten Fink.

“We played better last week at Hanover (1-1) but the most important was to show our efficiency up front,” said Fink, who took over mid-October when the side were stuck to the bottom of the table.

Goals from Peruvian Paolo Guerrero (24) and Marcell Jansen (62), ensure that Hamburg are now in 11th position with 17 points.

Bayern Munich shot back to the top of the German league on Saturday with an impressive 4-1 win over 10-man Werder Bremen and replaced defending champions Dortmund who were held 1-1 at Moenchengladbach.

France star Franck Ribery scored two superb individual goals, while Dutch winger Arjen Robben converted two penalties as Munich opened a one-point lead at the top, as the Bavarians prepare for Wednesday’s Champions League clash at Manchester City.

Dortmund, unbeaten in nine matches, host Marseille on Tuesday.

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