Holstein Kiel lead the Bundesliga 2 table going into the winter break after taking top spot from St. Pauli, who drew with Wehen Wiesbaden, while Schalke were denied a third straight victory by Greuther Fürth.
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Holstein Kiel 3-0 Hannover
Goals: 1-0 Becker (26'), 2-0 Arp (27'), 3-0 Arp (45')
Holstein Kiel moved top with a commanding win over 10-man Hannover. Timo Becker opened the scoring, with Jann-Fiete Arp adding a second within 60 seconds. The former Bayern Munich forward completed his brace on the stroke of half-time to put the home team in total control. Hannover's misery was compounded when Max Christiansen was sent off in the 66th minute for two bookable offences, while the VAR ruled out a fourth Kiel goal. The win lifts Marcel Rapp's team into first place, and ahead of St. Pauli, who dropped points at home to Wiesbaden on Sunday.
St. Pauli missed the chance to retake top spot and spend the winter break in first as they were held to a draw by Wiesbaden. The hosts dominated throughout and registered a whopping 28 shots to the visitors' five. Marcel Hartel converted a Johannes Eggestein cross in the opening minutes of the second period to finally break the deadlock, but St. Pauli were unable to press on and were pegged back by a late strike from substitute John Iredale. St. Pauli remain the only team unbeaten at the season's halfway stage but are two points behind Kiel in second.
Nuremberg 0-2 Hamburg
Goals: 0-1 Glatzel (80'), 0-2 Dompé (90'+7)
Hamburg remain in third spot, thanks to a 2-0 victory over Nuremberg at the Max-Morlock-Stadion. Both sides had chances in the first half, while the hosts were unfortunate not to take the lead when Daichi Hayashi hit the bar shortly before the hour mark and William Mikelbrencis headed against his own post from the rebound. However, after wasting several opportunities, Bundesliga 2 top scorer Robert Glatzel struck with 10 minutes remaining, before Jean-Luc Dompé secured the three points with the final kick of the game.
Paderborn 3-0 Hansa Rostock
Goals: 1-0 Grimaldi (23’), 2-0 Obermair (66’), 3-0 Klefisch (74’)
Sent off: Kolke (62’)
Paderborn continued their push for promotion with a third straight victory thanks to a comfortable success at home to Hansa Rostock, who remain firmly in the relegation zone. The hosts were the better side throughout and after edging ahead through Adriano Grimaldi midway through the first half, they never looked like relinquishing their lead. Momentum swung even further Paderborn’s way in the second half when visiting goalkeeper Markus Kolke was sent off. The hosts subsequently made the most of their numerical advantage, scoring twice more through Raphael Obermaier and Kal Klefisch to seal the points.
Schalke 2-2 Greuther Fürth
Goals: 1-0 Topp (30’), 1-1 Hrgota (50’), 2-1 Karaman (74’), 2-2 Asta (77’)
Sent off: Murkin (80’)
In-form Greuther Fürth twice came from behind to salvage a point away to Schalke, extending their unbeaten run to seven league games. The Royal Blues started well and took the lead through Keke Topp on the half-hour mark, only for it to be cancelled out by Branimir Hrgota’s equaliser early in the second half. Kenan Karaman restored Schalke’s advantage in an eventful final quarter of an hour, with Simon Asta levelling the scoreline seconds later, before Derry Murkin was sent off for a second bookable offence.
Hertha Berlin 0-0 Osnabrück
Red cards: Niederlechner (85')
Hertha missed out on the chance to put pressure on those above them in the push for promotion, despite going unbeaten for a 10th successive game as they drew 0-0 with rock-bottom Osnabrück. The hosts looked the more likely to score, but were unable to find a breakthrough, and were even reduced to 10 men five minutes before the final whistle when Florian Niederlechner received a straight red card for a foul on Lukas Kunze. The result leaves Hertha six points away from third, while the visitors are nine points adrift of automatic safety.
Magdeburg 2-3 Fortuna Düsseldorf
Goals: 1-0 Bockhorn (16'), 2-0 Amaechi (37'), 2-1 Vermelj (46'), 2-2 Appelkamp (70'), 2-3 Vermelj (75')
Promotion chasers Fortuna Düsseldorf came from two goals at half-time down to pick up all three points away at Magdeburg. The hosts fortuitously took the lead shortly after the quarter-hour mark through Herbert Bockhorn's mis-hit cross, before Xavier Amaechi slotted home to open his account for the campaign. However, within 30 seconds of the restart, Vincent Vermelj halved the arrears before Shinta Appelkamp buried from the middle of the penalty area to level things up. Vermelj then completed the comeback by tapping in from close range to send the away side to within a point of Hamburg.
Karlsruhe edged a high-scoring encounter with Elversberg to stretch their unbeaten spell to five matches. The hosts raced into a two-goal lead with hefty strikes from Dženis Burnić and Budu Zivzivadze. Igor Matanović was able to restore their advantage after Paul Wanner had grabbed one back for the visitors, but Elversberg came close to mounting a comeback. Luca Schnellbacher's strike put them within touching distance, Wanner hit the post and the hosts rode out a late wave of pressure to cling on for the three points.
Eintracht Braunschweig came from behind to beat Kaiserslautern and notch their second win in succession. An unfortunate Robin Krauße own goal gave the visitors the lead, but Rayan Philippe equalised after being sent through on goal. American Johan Gómez made it 2-1 from a tight angle, and Ragnar Ache thought he had equalised in stoppage time for Kaiserslautern, but the goal was disallowed for offside - condemning them to their sixth straight defeat in Bundesliga 2.
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