Schalke keep tabs on top three, Hanover down Cologne
By Barry Whelan Mar 18, 2012, 18:22 GMT
Berlin - Schalke came from behind for a 4-1 win at bottom club Kaiserslautern Sunday to stay in touch with the Bundesliga's leading three, while Hanover defeated Cologne 4-1.
Schalke responded to a third-minute header from Brazilian defender Rodnei with goals from Lewis Holtby, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Raul and Jefferson Farfan.
Schalke move to 50 points in fourth place, one behind Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Borussia Dortmund, who beat Werder Bremen 1-0 Saturday, lead on 59 points, while Bayern Munich, 6-0 winners at Hertha Berlin, are on 54.
A 10-point gap has now opened up between Schalke and fifth-placed Bayer Leverkusen.
Schalke took some time to recover from Rodnei's early goal from a free-kick by Christian Tiffert, but gradually got the upper hand and had threatened to score before Holtby unleashed a powerful shot into the roof of the net from outside the area in the 39th minute.
Huntelaar rifled in his 20th league goal of the season just before the interval, and Spanish striker Raul made it three in the 51st with a left-foot shot from 20 metres into the top left-hand corner of the net.
Huub Stevens' side completed a comfortable win nine minutes from time when a counter-attack ended with Holtby squaring the ball to Farfan, unmarked in front of goal, who stroked the ball home.
Stevens said Huntelaar was at fault for the first goal when he left Rodnei unmarked at the far post.
'After that it went better and we said at half-time we needed to score a third goal quickly,' he said. 'That's what happened and after the super goal from Raul it was much easier. If we end the season fourth that would be great.'
Kaiserslautern stay three points adrift at the bottom, with coach Marco Kurz saying the team lost belief after going behind.
'We will have to recover and we will recover, but if we want to stay up we'll have to do much better,' he said.
Mame Biram Diouf scored twice as Hanover set a club record of 14 undefeated home games to regain seventh place and leave Cologne sixth from bottom, three points off the relegation zone.
Lars Stindl in the 19th minute, Jan Schlaudraff with a 61st-minute penalty and Senegal striker Diouf in the 67th and 83rd minutes got the goals for Hanover, three days after a 4-0 win over Standard Liege in the Europa League.
Cologne, who were without suspended striker Lukas Podolski, had levelled two minutes before the break with a Kevin Pezzoni header.
Read more about Football Germany