Gelsenkirchen - FC Schalke 04 slipped down to third place in the table after being held to a draw by high-flying rivals Eintracht Frankfurt.

Neither Schalke nor Frankfurt have been in particularly sparkling form of late, but once the match got going it was clear to see why they were FC Bayern Munich's closest challengers. The guests were clearly fired up and twice went close with half chances within the first few minutes. However, Schalke quickly found their stride and took the lead thanks to a rapier-like counterattack. Lewis Holtby recovered the ball in midfield and played a delightful through ball to Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who had no trouble finding the net.

Their advantage didn't last long though, as Frankfurt hit back immediately. The host's backline appeared to still be savouring Huntelaar's smart finish when Bastian Oczipka's cross came into the box, allowing Stefan Aigner to head in unmarked. Sensing weakness, the visitors continued to probe Schalke's defence, which was looking uncharacteristically shaky, but they were unable to break through again before half time.

All square


The Eagles were left ruing what might have been, as Schalke re-emerged with renewed vigour from the changing room and immediately sought to go in front. Jefferson Farfan and Christian Fuchs enjoyed the run of the flanks and peppered the Frankfurt box with dangerous crosses aimed at Huntelaar, but the Dutchman could not convert any of them.

Gradually, the hosts began to get frustrated at their inability to forge an opening and the intensity of their attacks waned. Frankfurt's defensive solidity had stood them in good stead, but they laboured to string any moves together in Schalke's half. With the clocking ticking down, the home team still looked the more likely to find the net again, camped as they were in Frankfurt's half. Yet for all their possession, there was no final product and both teams had to settle for a point.

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