Schalke pulled into the UEFA Champions League places with a 2-0 win over Werder Bremen. Amine Harit and Benito Raman got the goals for David Wagner's side at the Weser Stadion.
Werder Bremen 1-2 Schalke
Goals: 0-1 Harit (43'), 0-2 Raman (53'), 1-2 Osako (80')
The hosts had a good chance early on when Maximilian Eggestein's shot deflected into Davy Klaassen's path, but the Dutchman flashed a shot over the bar first-time, not realising how much time he had. In an evenly matched first half, possession changed hands repeatedly. Harit had a chance at the other end when he got between two markers, but Jiri Pavlenka raced off his line to make the angle impossible for the Royal Blues' top scorer. Matija Nastasic crashed an effort off the Bremen post from the edge of the box and was then inches away from heading home Bastian Oczipka's resulting corner as Schalke's influence grew from midway through the half, and they finally made their pressure tell minutes before Benjamin Cortus's whistle for half-time, when Harit's cross-turned-shot sailed unimpeded into the far bottom corner for his sixth goal of the season.
The second half was less than 10 minutes old when the visitors pulled further clear. Raman mugged Sebastian Langkamp of possession on the edge of the Bremen area before making a beeline for goal and nutmegging Pavlenka for 2-0. Werder coach Florian Kohfeldt sent Claudio Pizarro into the fray for Nuri Sahin soon after, and the extra attacking impetus had the right effect. Yuya Osako came close to reducing the arrears, Eggestein's low shot across goal sailing inches away from the Japanese forward's out-stretched foot. Eggestein then fired a shot high of Alexander Nübel's goal moments later as Schalke held on, but there was to be no denying Osako, who tapped home his fourth goal of the campaign after Nübel had spilled Theodor Gebre Selassie's shot. Milot Rashica forced Nübel into another save at the death and it ended 2-1.
- With six goals and two assists, Harit has had a hand in the most goals for Schalke. A good thing: their strikers have contributed a league-low two.
- Schalke have nine more points compared to the same stage last season, which is the biggest improvement of all teams playing consecutive top-flight seasons.
- Raman scored his first Schalke goal following his summer transfer from Fortuna Düsseldorf. The Belgium international bagged 10 in the Bundesliga last term.
- Bremen have failed to win any of their last eight matches - a league-worst run.
- Kohfeldt hasn't been helped by an injury crisis that has seen him field eight different back fours in the first 12 games.
- Pizarro is the oldest player to feature in the Bundesliga this season at 41 years, one month and 21 days of age.
Bremen: Pavlenka - Gebre Selassie, Langkamp (Goller 85'), Veljkovic, Augustinsson - Bargfrede (J. Eggestein 73') - M. Eggestein, Sahin (Pizarro 55'), Klaassen (c) - Osako, Rashica
Unused subs: Kapino, Lang, Bittencourt, Sargent, Friedl, Groß
Out: Bartels (match fitness), Füllkrug (torn ACL), Möhwald (knee), Moisander (calf), Toprak (calf)
Coach: Florian Kohfeldt
Schalke: Nübel (c) - Kenny, Kabak, Nastasic, Oczipka - Caligiuri, Mascarell, Serdar - Harit (Burgstaller 88') - Uth (McKennie 73'), Raman (Matondo 80')
Unused subs: Schubert, Miranda, Kutucu, Reese, Skrzybski, Mercan
Out: Bentaleb (knee), Boujellab (calf), Sane (knee), Schöpf (thigh), Stambouli (metatarsal)
Coach: David Wagner