Schalke 04 closed the gap on leaders Bayer Leverkusen after goals by Kevin Kuranyi and Jan Moravek sealed an impressive 2-0 win over Werder Bremen in Saturday night’s big game.
With Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen being held to a 2-2 draw at Hertha BSC on Friday, both sides went into the match knowing that three points would have gone a long way towards cutting the gap on Bayer at the top.
After a positive start to the match the hosts almost grabbed an early lead when midfielder Daniel Jensen got free in the box but blasted his shot high over the bar.
Just inside the half-hour Werder created their best chance of the first half when Sebastian Boenisch’s low cross found Hugo Almeida, but the Portuguese striker volleyed over the bar.
Almeida’s chance was as good as it got for Thomas Schaaf’s men as two minutes into the second half Schalke 04 grabbed the lead through Kevin Kuranyi.
The German striker sprung the offside trap and seized on midfielder Lewis Holtby’s neat through ball before rounding goalkeeper Tim Weise and coolly slotting home for 1-0.
After falling behind Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf threw on striker Claudio Pizarro for his first long-awaited return, however, things did not get better as the visitors doubled their lead in the 71st minute when young Czech starlet Jan Morávek saw his shot blocked directly into the air by Per Mertesacker and the ball sailed over Weise into the net as Schalke upset the form book.
After the match a delighted Kevin Kuranyi saluted a great win for his side.
"We played a good first half and were even better after the interval. We never stopped attacking in the second half and were extremely solid at the back," he told reporters.
"We have worked very hard during pre-season and this pays off now. However, we shouldn't become complacent after this win. We haven't achieved anything yet. We have to build on this win and keep on improving."
The win lifted Felix Magath’s men up to second in the table on 31 points, just one behind leaders Bayer Leverkusen whilst Werder Bremen stay in fourth on 28 points.
In-form Bayern Munich climbed up to third on 30 points after an outstanding 5-1 win over VfL Bochum with Mario Gomez, Danijel Pranjic a brace by Ivica Olic and a Mergim Mavraj own goal.