St. Pauli stretched their lead at the top of Bundesliga 2 to six points after Guido Burgstaller's first-half double against former club Schalke got them another win on Saturday. With Darmstadt and Jahn Regensburg both losing, it means Pauli are sure to lead the way at the midway stage of the season.
Pauli dominated possession early on at the Millerntor-Stadion and it took them only six minutes to find the net. Igor Matanovic took the ball down in the area and Burgstaller swept home - but the offside flag was raised to deny the in-form striker. The Austrian soon hit another shot into the sidenetting before expertly taking his next chance. Matanovic lifted the ball over to the right where Burgstaller had found space, and he brilliantly volleyed the ball back across Schalke keeper Martin Fraisl from just inside the area. Rodrigo Zalazar had a great chance to level soon afterwards after some poor defending, but the former Pauli player drove his shot over the bar. Daniel-Kofi Kyereh was lively as the home side continued to threaten - thundering a volley just over - but inevitably it was Burgstaller who scored the second as well. The 32-year-old forced a corner with another volley and - when it was worked short – he cleverly glanced an inswinging cross from Leart Paqarada into the far corner.
Heavy rain made conditions more difficult in the second half, and within 30 seconds of the restart Mehmet Can Aydin had pounced on a mistake from Pauli centre-back James Lawrence. Home keeper Nikola Vasilj made a decent save, however, to preserve the two-goal cushion. Kyereh came up short with a long-range lob soon after, before Burgstaller's deflected strike was well kept out by Fraisl. Just when it looked like the league leaders would see out a comfortable win, however, Thomas Ouwejan sent over an inviting cross from the left. Zalazar arrived unmarked to head home from six yards out. With seven minutes to play Ouwejan thought he had levelled with a shot that took a wicked deflection and looped over Vasilj. Schalke forward Marvin Pieringer had strayed offside earlier in the move, however, and Pauli clung on for a precious three points.
- Burgstaller is now the Bundesliga 2's top goalscorer with 14 league goals this season. The former Nuremberg frontman - who struck 24 times in 95 Bundesliga appearances for Schalke between 2017 and 2020 - has never netted more times in a campaign in Germany.
- The Austrian had 21 touches and five shots at goal in the first half. He's now scored twice in a Bundesliga 2 game on seven occasions - including three times this season.
- Pauli have won eight from eight at home this term.
- Schalke missed the chance to draw level on points with second-placed Darmstadt after suffering their sixth league defeat of the campaign.
- Uruguayan attacker Zalazar got his second goal in as many games after failing to score in his first 12 appearances in the league this season. In 2020/21 he got six goals and five assists for St. Pauli in Bundesliga 2 while on loan from Eintracht Frankfurt.
- The Royal Blues had won their last four league meetings with Pauli by an aggregate score of 11-0, spread across the 2001/02 and 2010/11 Bundesliga seasons.
Pauli: Vasilj – Zander, Ziereis (c), Lawrence, Paqarada – Irvine, Smith (Medic 85'), Hartel – Kyereh (Makienok 90') – Burgstaller (Buchtmann 90'), Matanovic (Dittgen 73')
Unused subs: Smarsch, Ohlsson, Becker, Benatelli, Amenyido
Out: Areemu (thigh), Avevor (ankle), Daschner (knee), Knoll (calf), Wieckhoff (knee)
Coach: Timo Schultz
Schalke: Fraisl – Thiaw, Itakura, Kaminski – Aydin (Ranftl 73'), Zalazar, Palsson (c) (Latza 73'), Drexler, Ouwejan – Dadashov (Topp 81') Pieringer
Unused subs: Wienand, Calhanoglu, Idrizi, Kaparos, Matriciani, Wouters
Out: Churlinov (shoulder), Langer (knee), Terodde (calf)
Coach: Dimitrios Grammozis
Matchday 16 round-up:
Darmstadt 1-3 Fortuna Düsseldorf
Goals: 0-1 Hennings (16'), 0-2 Gjasula (o.g. 41'), 0-3 Narey (76'), 1-3 P. Tietz (85')
Fortuna Düsseldorf climbed away from the bottom three with an impressive 3-1 win at high-flying Darmstadt on Friday evening. Rouwen Hennings gave the guests the lead and an own goal by Gjasula gave them more than they had bargained for before the break. Darmstadt attacked and attacked in the second half, but ended up falling further behind when Narey struck a third. Tietz scored a consolation from the penalty spot late on, but it was no more than that for the Lilies, who remain second, but slip six points behind league-leaders St. Pauli.
Werder Bremen 4-0 Erzgebirge Aue
Goals: 1-0 Schmid (7'), 2-0 Veljkovic (19'), 3-0 Ducksch (53'), 4-0 Füllkrug (57')
Werder Bremen's new coach Ole Werner celebrated a winning start to life in charge of the northern Germany side with Milos Vejkovic netting an eye-catching scorpion-kick goal in a 4-0 win over Erzgebirge Aue. Veljkovic repaid his new coach's faith in restoring him to the starting XI with a memorable goal - a scorpion kick - adding to Romano Schmid's opener after he too marked his return to the first team with his first Werder goal. Marvin Ducksch added a third early in the second half and Niclas Füllkrug wrapped up a much-needed win for Bremen four minutes later, as they rose to ninth in the table.
Watch: Werder Bremen 4-0 Erzgebirge Aue
Nuremberg 2-1 Holstein Kiel
Goals: 1-0 Schäffler (6'), 2-0 Shuranov (63'), 2-1 Korb (88')
Nuremberg put a recent defeat to St. Pauli behind them with an important victory against Kiel that lifted Der Club into fifth place in the standings. Manuel Schäffler gave the hosts the perfect start at the Max-Morlock-Stadion, the forward registering his third goal of the season from close range following some good work by Tim Handwerker out wide. The home side doubled their lead after the break with Erik Shuranov slamming home and despite a late strike from Kiel’s Julian Korb, Robert Klauß’s side held on for their seventh win of the season.
Hansa Rostock 1-1 Ingolstadt
Goals: 0-1 Keller (41'), 1-1 Verhoek (49')
Hansa Rostock failed to make their dominance count as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Ingolstadt. The hosts had the woodwork rattling twice within the first seven minutes before falling behind against the run of play just before the break, with Keller on target with a finely struck direct free-kick. Verhoek levelled minutes into the second half, but Rostock were unable to transform their chances into goals as they had to settle for a second straight 1-1 draw.
Sandhausen 1-1 Paderborn
Goals: 0-1 Marcel Mehlem (5'), 1-1 Ajdini (90+3')
On course for a place in the top three, Paderborn were rocked by a goal deep in injury time as second-from-bottom Sandhausen celebrated an unlikely point. Their winless sequence now reaching three games, things had started perfectly for the visitors when Marcel Mehlem applied a stylish finish after only five minutes for his first goal of the season. Sandhausen - with just three victories to their name in 2021/22 - improved significantly after the break and, following a late onslaught, were rewarded for their efforts when Bashkim Ajdini found the net deep in injury time.
Hannover 1-0 Hamburg
Goal: 1-0 Maina (13')
Hamburg's 12-game unbeaten run came to an end as Hannover picked up a precious three points which moved them out of the relegation zone on Sunday. Linton Maina scored the only goal of the game with a textbook counterattack led by Beier, who raced half the length of the field before seeing his shot saved, only for it to fall kindly for Maina to turn in. Hannover had their backs to the wall for the remainder of the game, but dug in their heals for a crucial three points which lifted them to 15th.
Watch: Struggling Hannover edge Hamburg
Heidenheim 3-0 Jahn Regensburg
Goals: 1-0 Kühlwetter (23'), 2-0 Leipertz (77'), 3-0 Schöppner (90'+1)
Red card: Otto (43')
Heidenheim won their third game in a row against a Regensburg side, who played 45 minutes with ten men and dropped out of the top two in Bundesliga 2 as a result. The hosts took the lead halfway through the first half when Kühlwetter found himself in the right place at the right time to turn in Gimber's header. Regensburg's hopes of recovering suffered a setback just before half-time when Otto was sent off after catching Kühlwetter with an elbow. Regensburg held firm until the 77th minute, when substitute Leipertz doubled Heidenheim's advantage, and Schöppner headed in a third in stoppage time to lift Heidenheim to sixth, just a point behind their opponents.
Dynamo Dresden 3-1 Karlsruhe
Goals: 1-0 Königsdörffer (47'), 1-1 Schleusener (53'), 2-1 Königsdörffer (55'), 3-1 Daferner (69')
Red card: Schleusener (61')
Ransford-Yeboah Königsdörffer struck twice as Dynamo Dresden pulled away from the relegation zone with a 3-1 win over Karlsruher. Königsdörffer opened the scoring early in the second half, beating two men and providing an excellent diagonal finish as Dresden broke free to take the lead. Their lead lasted only five minutes, though, before Schleusener levelled, but Königsdörffer headed in his and Dresden's second to restore order within two minutes. Daferner then sealed the win midway through the second half with a fine shot from long range.